April 5, 2002, Newsletter Issue #76: ACT: About the People

Tip of the Week

ACT: About the People
As the embassy capital of Australia, Canberra reflects and pays homage to multiculturalism both in Australia and overseas. Recently, some people have exercised views that are not always the views of all Australians. These comments are only the views of a minority; they do not express the views of all the nation. Australia´s impression overseas and with our nearest neighbours as a sympathetic multicultural country has become sullied. The views of these persons are their own and are based on ideals borne of ignorance. They serve to ignite dissention and divide a country but they also reflect the democratic right of Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of Speech is a right that should be permitted to be exercised by each and every person. In Australia we are fortunate that our government supports this right and we need to action it with the same caution in the international arena as we would in our own homes. Freedom of Speech permits people to "speak their mind," but in reality, to speak your mind should be done with respect for others. Canberra has survived as a city supportive of the multicultural ideologies of others for well over seventy years. It remains today a suitable starting ground from which we can learn to respect the different lives of others, ideals that should be inherent in all Australians.

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