The REAL Citizenship Test

The controversial Citizenship Test introduced by the Howard Government last year has conjured up a fresh wave of political fire after findings revealed that one-fifth of applicants were failing to reach the 60 per cent pass margin.

To begin with, the idea of testing knowledge of Australian culture in an academic environment always reeked of political gorgonzola. It emerged as a slightly desperate attempt by the Howard Government to put the square peg of immigration into the round hole of compliance. The idea was well-intentioned, but its execution was rather ill-conceived and somewhat irrelevant.

For instance, knowing who Don Bradman is, and his contribution to Australian Cricket, doesn’t really strike me as a major indicator of the quality of a person’s Australian-ness. (Just quietly, I think that was Little Johnny’s insistent suggestion when they were drafting the potential exam questions) But anyway, we have the test, and now it’s under question for its apparent difficulty and the rate of failure.

Some may say, “Well if you don’t put the work in to understand the answers to the questions (which are actually made freely available before you take the test), then clearly you don’t have the level of commitment that is required to be part of Australian society”. Which is a decent point. But certainly the intention of the Howard Government was to ascertain the level of cultural digestion potential immigrants had reached, rather than seeing if they could pass an exam they already had the answers to.

In saying that then, the question really has to be asked, if we are testing potential immigrants of their level of Australian cultural knowledge, what happens when we point the focus at Australians themselves? Surely Australian citizens should be able to pass this test with ease?

Being Australian is a feeling, a real feeling that you cannot gauge with bureaucratic nonsense.

As a result, I decided to knock up a bunch of questions that engage the real heart of Australian culture.

Q1 ) What is the correct style of footwear to be used whilst mowing a sloped lawn?
a) Steel Capped work boots with sock protectors
b) Tennis shoes with holes in them
c) Wet rubber thongs.
Answer: C

Q2 ) If you see a funnel-web spider in your garage, what is the correct thing to do?
a) Call “Wires” and a representative will come to safely remove it
b) Squeal like a girl and hide under your bed
c) Poke it with a stick for laughs
Answer: C

Q3 ) The word “Girt” alludes to….
a) A combination of grass and dirt
b) The fungal bacteria that develops on a girl who doesn’t wash that much
c) …the fact that nobody has used this word in an actual sentence, ever.
Answer: C

Q4) What is footy?
a) A foot fungus
b) An african foot disease
c) The best game ever
Answer: C

Q5) How much does a pie & coke cost at the footy?
a) An Arm
b) A Leg
c) Your first born
Answer: C

Q6) Which one of these people is not a famous Australian
a) John Farnham
b) John Howard
c) John Stamos
Answer: C

Q7) Who is Glenn McGrath
a) The Australian Prime Minister
b) Mardi Grath's Brother
c) A legend
Answer: C (I will also accept A)

Senator Chris Evans, if you are desperate for a re-tweak of the test, I’m available.

Feel free to add questions that should be there in the comments below.

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