Celebrating diversity is only feasible when there is a willingness to commit to the values and beliefs that underpin and sustain tolerance. Now that Islamic State terrorism has arrived on our soil it's time to ask the question: what does it mean to be Australian?
There's no denying that during the 1950s and 1960s the prevailing mood was nationalistic and pro-British. When I was at school, for example, every Monday morning at assembly we neatly lined up in rows, saluted the flag and sang God save the Queen. With our hands on our hearts children would then recite the oath of allegiance and promise to "cheerfully obey my parents, teachers and the law". The world map on the back of our workbooks was covered in red, proving that the sun never set on the British Commonwealth.