‘More to Australia than Kangaroos and Koalas’ is an attempt to showcase the diverse and exciting continent country that is Australia. Today we look at Australia’s ‘fair go’ policy. It is the ideal that every Australian should have an equal opportunity to establish, improve and maintain their wellbeing and have access to services and opportunities that support this irrespective of his or her ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, etc.
Every Australian holds the ‘fair go’ as a fundamental ethos and rates it higher than all other values. It’s a quintessential Australian phrase and it means that everyone deserves a ‘fair go’ or equal opportunity.
What is ‘fair go’?
It is the ideal that every Australian should have an equal opportunity to establish, improve and maintain their wellbeing and have access to services and opportunities that support this irrespective of his or her ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, etc.
No other country in the world holds this honourable code as a core nationalistic value. While many fight for equality, preach tolerance, teach these tenets as ideal and even as a nation regard it as ideal, only in Australia will you find it as an unwritten law. Australia has a long history of ‘underdog’ culture resulting in a profound respect for humility. Australians aspire to a fair society that enables everyone an equal opportunity to improve their wellbeing.
In most countries having wealthy parents confers an unfair advantage to the children, this is not so in Australia where personal ambition and natural ability enables children of the poorest parents without post-secondary education to acquire highest status jobs. Public schooling is Free and of world class standard and tertiary education can be accessed through government study loans. Research shows that individuals from every stratum move into every other stratum in large numbers, no socioeconomic group is held back.
The origins of ‘fair go’ began with the establishment of Australia as a penal colony. To prevent civil unrest convicts and freeman were given equal food rations and meted out similar punishments for crimes without any bias. Convicts could earn their freedom and an equal place in society. The first notion of ‘fair go’ was being offered a helping hand and that your birth did not determine your destiny. Today Australia boasts an egalitarian society where even the prime minister is addressed by their first name.
Australia is a class less nation in the sense that every individual is treated with respect and his or her job status does not equate with more or less favour. A waitress in a café will be afforded the same treatment as a CEO of a conglomerate. In fact recent wage data indicates that some skilled manual workers fare considerably better than some higher professionals.
Overall Australia is not just a high-income nation among the first world countries but it is a land steeped in love, tolerance and new beginnings. A fact reflected by the World Giving Index, it cites that 70% of Australians give money to charities, 38% of the population volunteer their time for organisations and 64% of the population has helped a stranger.
For a new migrant Australia is nothing short of utopia, a land that affords equal opportunities does not discriminate on the basis of race or culture, and there is no prejudice associated with one’s job status.