THE AUSTRALIAN WAY

Pauline Hanson, Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi all say that they are totally committed to the defence of the Australian Way of life. But, they differ broadly when they endeavour to explain to us what it is they are defending.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten have differing versions of the Australian Way, but both also disagree with some of what Hanson, Abbott and Bernardi have to say.

So, how does the average Aussie punter work out what it is we are all supposed to be promoting and defending?

Embarrassingly for more moderate citizens, there seem to be some broad areas of common bias.

The primary one is a strong belief that Australia must be defended from hordes of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as foreign workers and investors who bring with them sharia law and burkas and terrorists. Added to this is a primitive view that gays, lesbians and aborigines represent a threat to ‘decent’ society.

So, how do we find common ground on what it is in Australian life we should be standing up for as we try to curb the influence of those supposed ‘infidels’ and, much more formidably, how can we achieve it? Sadly, too many seem to believe that the creation of an atmosphere of fear is a good way to begin.

May I suggest that a good starting point is to go back to the time of the Federation of Australian States in 1901.

Currently, I am writing a book about this historic event. I have entitled it  “Dinner with the Founding Fathers”. In researching it, I found that two of the eminent Founding Fathers made a huge effort to have a Preamble to the Constitution adopted which set out the values of the Australian people.

Alfred Deakin, who served as Prime Minister three times, was an ardent spiritualist. He teamed up with Bolton Stafford Bird, a Tasmanian MP and Congregational Church Minister, to try to achieve this, but they failed because the delegates to the Constitutional Conventions could not agree on what Australian Values were, mainly because of the hatred that existed between Protestant and Catholic delegates who were miles apart on what was the Christian standpoint.

Further attempts have been made over the past 116 years, including one by John Howard a decade ago, but they got nowhere near gaining unanimity.

So, for the purposes of my book, I decided to reopen the debate by writing my own version of an acceptable Preamble that in my view the Founding Fathers should have adopted.

My most recent draft reads like this,

“Australians are a free people who aspire to a quality of life which is based on equality of opportunity, intelligent and committed effort, mutual support, personal generosity and loyalty to our nation.

We acknowledge the rich heritage of indigenous people who were the first to enjoy life on our continent, as well as the more recent contribution made by settlers who came here from other lands.

It is our tradition to welcome to our shores migrant people of all cultures, whatever their religious and ethnic backgrounds. In doing so, it is our expectation that all New Australians will adopt a way of life that is expected of responsible citizens who want to live in peace to achieve prosperity through a spirit of ‘mateship’ which is inbuilt into our culture.

Importantly, this includes an unqualified acceptance and observance of our laws.

These laws are based on encouraging equality and providing justice for all, but also make a clear acknowledgement that no laws shall ever be passed that are based on religious beliefs ascribed to any faith.

We live in peace with all who inhabit the world, but we will always rise to defend those who are denied freedom or suffer oppression.

We presume that all who gain the privilege of living in Australia will affirm their wholehearted acceptance of our Constitution, especially the words contained in this Preamble.”

It is my sincere hope that many of you who read my words will let me have your thoughts on how these words can be improved. So far, I have laboured over many drafts, this in fact being the eleventh, and I reckon it will take at least twenty before I can get it anywhere near being acceptable to a majority of Australians.

In the final analysis, the purpose of words like these which can begin our Constitution is to create the opportunity for a majority of Australians to personally commit with pride to making a unique contribution to the enhancement of our national life, using their special talents to do something significant that will add to the quality of humanity by which we live.

In my most recent book, The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes, I record John Flynn’s most famous words which concisely set out the personal challenge.

“One day, each one of us must ask ourselves the question, WHY AM I HERE?”.

Yours at Large

Everald Compton

If you would like to receive an email notifying you whenever I post an article, please record your details opposite or on my website – everaldcompton.com.

At the same website, you can buy a copy of the book ‘The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes”. Just click on the book title.

 

 

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8 Responses to THE AUSTRALIAN WAY

  1. Carlo Bongarzoni says:

    Everald – I applaud your preamble and would support it! Your efforts are appreciated by me at least. I would have other thinking about some of your other ‘descriptions” as you’d expect. Regards carlo

    Carlo Bongarzoni

    Carlo Bongarzoni Associates P/L

    9 Russell Street

    Clontarf NSW 2093

    T/F 9948 8975; 0410 335 523

    bongarzoni@optusnet.com.au

  2. Peta Nagle says:

    Dear Everald
    You already know, being on your eleventh draft document, that you have a massive task in arriving at the finishing line to amend our Constitution in such a way that it will embrace all that Australians want for themselves. As I see it, therein lies the problem….”what they want for themselves”…and not as a united nation of peoples of many cultures who can live in harmony, uphold the laws of our land and generally, have a good way of life that continues to allow the relative freedom to which we have become accustomed.

    Our founding fathers had a slim chance of getting it right, because Australia was newly settled and so those who came before us were the ones who embraced mateship and pride in being an Aussie. We have all witnessed on many occasions, that pulling together in a crisis does continue to build on what we as a Nation already know and expect as part of our daily lives.

    Politicians will never get it right. It is in their own interest to approach things from the top down. They could well take a lesson from the landcare movement introduced by Bob Hawke in 1989 during the decade of landcare, wherein the community came together and reshaped the dire state of our environmental issues through a bottom up approach.

    Even though the early settlers had what we, today, would call a tough life, the pride and mateship came about naturally through the plight of their circumstances of living, and, ultimately, shaping our Nation into a happy, healthy place to live.

    I believe you are on the right path Everald, with your words so far. The key will be in asking the younger generation of Australians to live by those words every day, so that it becomes second nature to them and each generation that follows, as they take the baton forward for the good of our Nation. We can (and should) applaud our indigenous people for allowing us to live in their land and continue to include them in every way possible.

    I look forward to hearing more of your progress through your newsletters and ultimately, to reading your book.

    Kindest regards
    Peta

  3. Lloyd Graham says:

    You have tackled a difficult task here Everald but, knowing your dogged ways, you may very well achieve it. I have one comment to make which I hope you will treat as constructive. That is to say most of your text is ‘aspirational’ but some of it appears ‘factual’. For instance you state that “It is our tradition to welcome to our shores migrant people of all cultures, whatever their religious or ethnic background.” This may very well be the case today, but it was not so when all major political parties supported the ‘White Australia Policy’ and it was accepted as a given in this country. Such being the case you may wish to rethink the word ‘tradition’. For instance, when I was a child the only Chinese people you would see in North Perth were those few hard working individuals operating the nearby market gardens.
    Kind regards

    Lloyd

  4. Very good Everald, but I am unsure of your meaning of “unqualified acceptance and observance of our laws.” If we accept them then we don’t see any deficiencies in them and never seek to change them for the better. I think if you read the books of Evan Whitton you will see there are many deficiencies. His book Our Corrupt Legal System, can be downloaded free from netk.net.au/whitton/ocls.pdf.
    And to constitutionalreform; The Philippines Constitution says that sovereignty resides in the people. This contrasts with the Westminster system, where sovereignty resides in the Parliament (having been taken off the monarch who was the previous sovereign). So what this means is like this argument with Brexit or SSM, that Parliament doesn’t have the final say, the people do in referenda/plebiscites. Just so you know what it implies.

  5. Brice says:

    Hey Everald,

    I am not quite of your vintage, but for all off my life until (say) fifteen years ago, your first paragraph is all that was/is required :

    “Australians are a free people who aspire to a quality of life which is based on equality of opportunity, intelligent and committed effort, mutual support, personal generosity and loyalty to our nation.”

    My humble view is that the moment you separate one body or group, including our indigenous folk, you run into a brick wall and the do-gooders and the well meaning being led by the nose, take the whole system to slaughter.

    I am prepared to wager that 1000 versions down the road you are no closer than the first paragraph describes.

    Respectfully

    Brice Kaddatz Gympie.

  6. Guy Pease says:

    Everald, you have excelled yourself.

    Once you have received suggestions for inclusion or for changes to your latest draft, it should be publicly displayed — in Dick Smith fashion. Hopefully then it will be widely supported and eventually formally adopted.

    It is very important for the future of this Nation that we put aside differences and move forward with some such document, even if initially informally until we iron out together any shortcomings it may prove to have in practice.

    The sooner the better, and I for one am definitely happy to contribute to the cost of getting it maximum publicity.

    Guy Pease

  7. constitutionalreform says:

    Dear Everald. Your draft Preamble is a jolly fine effort. There are some other ideas you might like to consider in the Preamble of my Draft Constitution (of which you have a copy).
    THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION

    The Preamble

    We the People of Australia voting at referendum adopt this Constitution as the cornerstone and basic law of Australian society and declare that this Constitution shall be changed only by the People in accordance with the provisions herein.

    This Constitution shall establish, promote and preserve a free, secular, egalitarian and just society in which all Australian Citizens are equal before the law and have equal opportunity to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout this Constitution unless the contrary intention is obvious, references to the male gender shall include the female gender and vice versa.

    We the People of Australia declare with this Constitution that the People and only the
    People are Sovereign.

    We the People of Australia acknowledge our history and with this Constitution declare Sovereignty over Australia in perpetuity as described herein.

    All the assets of the land, air and sea of Australia form part of the common wealth of
    Australia and belong to all Australian Citizens.

    We the People declare sustainable development a fundamental principle of our Nation. We declare that any activity that unduly adversely impacts on the natural environment shall be unlawful and that we shall restore as far as possible the damage already inflicted on the land, air and sea.

    Recognising that some aspects of society are better achieved with common standards, centralised decision making and collective endeavour, We the People establish with this Constitution a system of representative, democratic government. This system provides for government of the People by the People for the People and shall remain in force until changed by the People voting at referendum.

    The validity of all laws passed by the Parliament shall be judged against this Constitution including this preamble. No laws shall impinge on the rights and responsibilities of the People as stipulated in this Constitution unless agreed by the People voting at referendum. Any law, ordinance, regulation or Court judgment contrary to the provisions of this Constitution shall be invalid.

    With this Constitution We the People of Australia declare friendship to all other nations and that we have no aspirations for the territory of any other nation. This declaration shall be changed only by the People voting at referendum.

    1„Sovereignty over Australia‟ means that Australian Citizens rule Australia and that the land
    area of Australia is part of the common wealth that belongs to all Australian Citizens.
    2„The People and only the People are Sovereign‟ means that all authority stems from the
    People and reverts to the People and cannot be usurped.

    Unlike the 1901 Constitution, this Preamble forms part of the Constitution and shall be used as required to interpret intent and meaning.
    Regards
    Charles Mollison
    cobbscrossing@bigpond.com

  8. Peter Hanson says:

    Everald, your wisdom and logic are inspiring to me and I am sure plenty of others. I am 2/3rds your age but feel I can only hope to be half as switched on and up to date as you are on all the subjects and events you speak on. Keep up the great work and my wish is our political leaders take on all your ideas and vision for our Australian future.
    Regards
    Peter

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