For those migrants who call Australia home, becoming an Australian Citizen is something that many aspire to.
As well as being able to call yourself a real Aussie, for migrants there’s also the added benefit of being able to come and go as you please without having to reapply for entry into Australia after the initial period allocated by your Visa class has elapsed.
Since October 2007, a â€˜citizenship test’ has had to be taken as part of the process to gain Australian citizenship and the questions within the test have had raised quite a few eye brows ever since it’s release.
Many of the questions were of a very General nature and some people taking the test weren’t particularly enamoured by the fact that certain questions could influence their chances of becoming an Australian.
A couple of the questions that spring to mind include such classics as:
Who lit the Olympic cauldron at the Sydney 2000 Olympic games? Or
In which cricket tour did Sir Donald Bradman break almost all the existing batting records?
Questions perhaps better suited for your local pub quiz then a citizenship test!
Thankfully a change to some of these questions will be on their way
On 28 April 2008, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, appointed an independent committee to conduct a review of the Australian citizenship test, focussing on the operation of the test and the issues that surround it.
The Australian Citizenship Test Review Committee has finalised their report and the â€˜general knowledge quiz’ is going to be overhauled as a result…. yay!
Immigration Minister Chris Evans said that following a review by seven eminent Australians, the Labour government had decided to modify the test, saying it should not be a “general knowledge quiz.”
The test was introduced under conservative former Prime Minister John Howard, and originally included a controversial section on Australian history and culture.
This has now been relegated to a non-testable section of a book for prospective citizens, Evans said in a statement.
Evans said the focus of the new test would be on a pledge of commitment that new citizens are required to make.
“The pledge is about our democratic beliefs, our laws and the rights, responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship,” Evans said.
“It is crucial that prospective citizens understand these concepts so the questions on the new test will focus on the commitments to the pledge rather than being a general knowledge quiz about Australia.”
In other changes, the book for prospective citizens is to be rewritten in plain English and the pass mark for the test will be increased from 60 to 75 percent, with no mandatory questions.