WHEN I GO OVERSEAS ON HOLIDAY, I AM EXPECTED TO FIT IN, SO WHY SHOULDN’T I EXPECT PEOPLE WHO COME HERE TO “FIT IN” ALSO?

When you go overseas, you are usually catered to by tourist services which have been set up to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday or business trip. For example, you probably stay in a hotel where the staff speak several languages including English. Their concierge (or your guidebook) can advise you about the most appropriate way to behave locally so that you remain safe during your stay.

Likewise, Australians often try to help newcomers feel welcome by pointing out our local customs to help people understand their new environment. Immigrants are often grateful to be living in Australia and will usually do their best to apply our customs and also follow some of the traditions of their country of origin. Australia is a free country that welcomes people from different backgrounds and a great place to live for this reason!

It is also a place with many different ways of life making it very hard to point to one particular Australian ‘way of life’ that everyone should ‘fit’ into. It doesn’t matter whether people are born in Australia or are visiting or emigrating to Australia from another country, everyone has the right to be different so long as they obey the laws of the country they are in.

More importantly, whoever you are and whenever you happen to be and regardless of how well you are ‘fitting’ in, everyone has a right to live their live free from racism, and everyone has a responsibility to behave fairly and inclusively.

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