Depending on where you’re emigrating from, Australian culture could be quite different to what you’re used to.  The immigration process acknowledges this and tries to set out expectations from the start, through a clear statement of Australian values. Our migration agents in Brisbane can help guide you through this process and make it as stress-free as possible.

What is the Australian Values Statement?

Uluru with blue skies

The Australian Values Statement is a document that you will need to sign as part of your visa application.  It describes the beliefs and values that are considered to be fundamental to Australian society.  Depending on your background, these may or may not be what you’re accustomed to, but the visa application requires that you declare your intention to respect and behave in accordance with these values.  Your migration agents in Brisbane can assist with this.

I confirm that I have read, or had explained to me, information provided by the Australian Government on Australian society and values.

I understand that Australian society values:

  • respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual;
  • freedom of religion (including the freedom not to follow a particular religion), freedom of speech, and freedom of association;
  • commitment to the rule of law, which means that all people are subject to the law and should obey it;
  • parliamentary democracy whereby our laws are determined by parliaments elected by the people, those laws being paramount and overriding any other inconsistent religious or secular “laws”;
  • equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, or national or ethnic origin;
  • a ‘fair go’ for all that embraces:
    • mutual respect;
    • tolerance;
    • compassion for those in need;
    • equality of opportunity for all;
  • the English language as the national language, and as an important unifying element of Australian society.

I undertake to conduct myself in accordance with these values of Australian society during my stay in Australia and to obey the laws of Australia.

If applying for a permanent visa:

I undertake to make reasonable efforts to learn the English language, if it is not my native language.

I understand that, if in the future I meet the legal qualifications for becoming an Australian citizen and my application is approved, I will need to pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people.

Reference: Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs, “Form 1281: Australian Values Statement”, (Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2020).

It’s a requirement of visa applications that you sign this Statement – very occasionally an exemption may be considered, but only in very compelling circumstances – if you think this could be you, discuss with your migration agents in Brisbane.

If you’re looking for more information on the values laid out in the Australian Values Statement, have a look at the Australian Values website  – it’s from the Australian Government and has more of a discussion of the values, plus real life examples.

Australian Culture and Society

The Department of Home Affairs has published two booklets to assist new migrants to find their feet in Australia – these are available online, or talk to your migration agents Brisbane. 

  • The Life in Australia booklet is compulsory reading with your visa application – you’ll need to sign a declaration to say you have read and understood it.  It has another, more in depth look at the Australian Values and also discusses legal protections from discrimination and domestic violence.
  • The Beginning a Life in Australia booklet contains very practical information, such as enrolling children in school, how the healthcare system works, settlement services, legal and social norms and housing.

These are both helpful starting points if you’ve just come to Australia and can help you sort out the basics.


This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on legal topics, current at the time of publication, for general informational purposes only. The material may not apply to all jurisdictions. The contents do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organisation may have.