Australian Day Oath

Essay by shengweichuangHigh School, 10th gradeF, March 2004

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Dear Sir,

As a parent of one of your students at your school, I am writing this letter to you to express my disapproval in regard to your decision to make the taking of the Australia Day Oath a regular part of morning assemblies. Although I am proud of our country and proud to be a part of it, the Australia Day Oath does not reflect who we are as Australians and is simply an unpoetic collection of tired, nonsensical clichés.

The oath does not represent each Australian's own characteristic. Not all Australians have the qualities that are listed in the oath and in many cases, we are the exact opposite. The whole oath is a broad generalisation of who "we" should be and what "we" should stand for such as '"we" stand equal'. How can the committee include a phrase like that when many members of our society, for example gay and lesbian community, are still fighting for equal rights in our society? It is clearly evident of how inaccurate the oath is.

The phrase 'we will not forget the past' obviously is not referring to white Australia policy or the mistreatment of the Aboriginal people in the past, events of the past which many would prefer to forget. If these events are of any representation of our national values than we have some serious reconsidering to do.

What good would reciting a few measly phrases do? We cannot simply pledge an oath to being tolerant, understanding and equal and not act upon these values. Actions speak louder than these hollow words, therefore instead of getting the children to speak of these qualities, get them to demonstrate it.

As Australians, ad by our virtues, we do not need these jingoistic parables to display our commitment to our country. This...