The Australian government has decided that immigrants need to know about mateship.
Apparently mateship is a defining Australian value, and people who won’t be mates don’t get to be Australians. Here’s what the Australian government says about mateship.
Australia has a strong tradition of mateship where people help and receive help from others voluntarily, especially in times of adversity. A mate can be a spouse, partner, brother, sister, daughter, son or a friend. A mate can also be a total stranger.
Whatever. I’m sure many of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia would have liked to been included in mateship, and helped out in times of need, instead of being turfed out.
I don’t think is possible to require people to be mates. This is not like being able to describe Australia’s system of government, or the basic values that underpin a Western liberal democracy – freedom of speech, association and religion, the equality of all individuals, the rule of law, and so on, all fairly well mapped out in political philosophy. I think that it’s quite reasonable to expect immigrants to accept the systems of governance in countries they migrate to. But telling them that they must do something that is supposed to be a freely given gift is simply incoherent.