News National ‘Barbie, BYO, digger’: instructions for refugees
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‘Barbie, BYO, digger’: instructions for refugees

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The Australian government understands settling into a brand new country might be difficult.

And that’s why they’re providing all new Syrian arrivals a special guide to Aussie life, before being granted a visa.

The Life in Australia document is handed out by the Department of Immigration and Border Force and reminds new arrivals that Australians blow their noses (and don’t emit nose deposits on the footpath) and handle food with tongs.

For example, the booklet also explains the meaning of words like “Barbie, arvo, bloke, cuppa, digger and ocker”.

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Other uniquely Australian words that are explained include, “bring a plate, fair go and to be crook”. 

Another section asks “Is there a typical Australian?” – there isn’t a definitive answer given, instead a lot of stereotypical discussion.

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New refugees will be BBQ’ing like Aussies in no time. Photo: Getty

“Australians are people of few words who live mainly in country areas or the Australian bush – yet most of them live a cosmopolitan lifestyle in the cities,” said one description.

“Australians are egalitarian, irreverent people with a deep suspicion of authority – yet they are mostly law–abiding and conformist,” said another.”

Ultimately it concludes: “The truth, of course, is that Australians, like people everywhere, cannot be easily stereotyped.”

In the section titled “social security” it is clearly explained that “the Australian government believes that the best means of support is through paid work”. 

There isn’t a test that a refugee needs to pass before being granted a visa, however one must sign an “Australian values statement”, which confirms an understanding of the “Australian society and values”.

“Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting their diversity,” part of the pledge explains.

“Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background the English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society.”

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