STREET TALK: Aussies will always help a mate

THERE'S one thing we all seem to agree on - being Australian means helping each other out.

That and fishing, cooking on the barbecue and generally living up to our reputation as outdoors people.

Freedom, kindness and being open minded are all things Australians consider ourselves to be.

So why do we get so nervous when it comes to immigration? When new people join a community they can't help but bring some of their personal history with them. It's part of who they are, even if they came to Australia for a chance at a better life.

Jace Arnold thinks being Australian means treating everyone equally and that self-dignity is paramount.

"The other is freedom, you can do what you please here as long as you don't harm others," he said.

But there are lots of things we can't do any more for fear of offending others. So do these changes make us better because they live up to our values of not hurting others even though it takes away some of our freedom?

Leonie Brown is proud to be Australian. Her father fought in the Second World War to protect those freedoms. And while she likes multicultural Australia, she's worried our values and identity will be diluted by immigration.

To her, being Australian means having freedom, being willing to assimilate and embracing our culture.

But she wants the freedom she enjoys from being born in the lucky country to be protected above all else.

"We should be able to walk down the street and not have to worry about our safety," she said.

"I am proud to be Australian and people should adopt our values if they want to live here."

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