Imagine you have woken up in the Australia of your dreams. What is it like?

In 2017 we asked this question to people all over the country – with nothing to sell, no politician to elect and no agenda other than to listen deeply.

We started these conversations because if we are going to grab hold of our country and move things closer to the way we would like them to be, we need to know what we want. We need a new, compelling story of transformation and restoration; one that ignites our hope and moves us into action.

Listening to hundreds of people, from many walks of life, we came away understanding that the hopes and dreams we share for our future are staggeringly similar.

This collectively imagined near future is captured in the nine pillars below. It comes directly from the voices of the people we spoke with; from the recordings of the interviews; from the reams of butcher’s paper people wrote on; and from the afterthoughts they sent in, fired with passion to talk about the society they want and the challenges they face.

From the voices of many, Australia Remade emerged as a portrait of our collective hopes and dreams.

This is a vision of the best version of us.

It is both idealistic and ordinary. Utopian and commonsense. The intention is not to dictate a wish list of new demands or policies but to inject a breath of fresh air. To ignite inspiration, conversation and the possibility that we will plot a new and dazzling course for this country; a future we can be excited to create.

This is our time!

When we lift each other up with a picture of what is possible and hold each other in hope when things get discouraging; when we join together to demand change and stay together when things get hard – we know from countless examples in the history of the world that we change things for the better.

So, welcome.

We’re glad you’re here. We hope you will be inspired by some or all of the pillars in Australia Remade. If you are, start talking. Share this vision. Join with us. Together we intend to tell a new story of Australia, a story that lifts our sights and our souls, a story that energises and activates us to create change.

Just as we benefit from the work of others before us, may our steely determination to make change against the odds shine forth into the lives of our children and grandchildren. May our dreams become their normal, our struggles their history lessons, our love their greatest inheritance.

Here are the nine pillars of a remade Australia; the foundations for the future we collectively want. This is what we could be.


 
 

the nine pillars

Australia Remade is a vision for the best version of us. It comes from hundreds of conversations with Australians across the country.

This collectively imagined near future is both idealistic and ordinary. Utopian and commonsense. The intention is not to dictate a wish list of new demands or policies but to inject a breath of fresh air. To ignite inspiration, conversation and the possibility that we will plot a new and dazzling course for this country; a future we can be excited to create. 

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and cultures are celebrated at the very heart of what it means to be Australian.
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We are a part of, and connected to, this land. We love our wild forests and sandy beaches, our deserts and grasslands, our paddocks and farms. We love our wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas – and so we act to protect them.
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Australia’s economy serves our people and the planet. Our government makes decisions that put people first: decisions that are good for nature, lift people out of poverty and fairly share our country’s wealth.
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Whatever we do, our contribution to society is recognised and valued. Some people have an obvious job or role, others contribute to the common good in other ways. Paid employment is not the only path to worthiness, recognition and success.
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 Australia is a diverse nation. We see this splendid diversity in our leaders, on our screens, in our papers, in the food we eat, in the books we read and in the cultures we celebrate.
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We are compassionate and connected. Because our basic needs are met, we have time for each other and our communities. Our communities are places of music, fun and playfulness, kindness and generosity.
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Women are visible, valued and celebrated – with power in Parliament, business, the community and the home. Women and girls make up half of our leaders at all levels of society and lead us in new and inspiring ways.
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Our government exists for the people. Because we value a strong democracy we are engaged and thoughtful citizens. We know how democracy works and we are confident to play our part in large and small ways.
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 Australia does good in the world. We stand on our own two feet as we develop a fair and just approach to working with other countries. We do not blindly follow others, no matter how powerful.
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ONE: a first people's heart

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures are celebrated at the very heart of what it means to be Australian. 

60,000 years as the oldest continuing civilisation with knowledge, experience and connection to the land  is a matter of pride and learning for all Australians.  

We are unified and uplifted as a nation as we work together to acknowledge, understand and heal from the past.  Having courageously broken the silence about the history and impact of colonisation, we now walk together – listening and learning from one another. 

First Peoples have a rightful place and welcome voice in discussions of importance to this nation, now and always.

Self-determination drives sustained, long-term transformational change, with First Peoples' full control over decisions impacting lives and communities.  Liberated from the shackles of discrimination, First Peoples are equal to anybody else in this country.

We all are free to be and become whoever we wish to be.  

Families and communities are whole and strong. Aboriginal languages are spoken, art and cultures enjoyed, history and stories shared. Children and young people flourish. We celebrate genuine, leaps forward in life expectancy, family safety, health, education, declining rates of imprisonment and more – knowing that every measure of progress uplifts, heals and frees us all.


 
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TWO: a natural world for now and the future

We are a part of, and connected to, this land.

We love our wild forests and sandy beaches, our deserts and grasslands, our paddocks and farms. We love our startling wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas – and so we act to protect them.

We respect the planet and take care of it, knowing that our lives depend on the natural environment. Together we are forging the future of our land, guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ millennia of experience, wisdom and care. Our natural world is visible, celebrated and thriving.

We all have free access to clean air and water, to good food and to land that is well cared for. Wildlife is rich and abundant. We support our farmers to grow fresh food in ways that regenerate the soil and promote the health of our land and waterways.

We power our country with clean, renewable energy, owned and managed for everyone’s benefit. We have stopped extracting and burning fossil fuels and supported the transition to meaningful jobs in the clean energy economy. Our government and businesses assist communities impacted by damage to our climate, acknowledging our responsibility to make things right.

We no longer exist in a state of denial, despair or fear about our impact on the natural world. Instead we take action to protect and restore this land. We are proud of our relationship with our land, air, wildlife and water. We know that our children and our neighbours and friends will be free to enjoy this beautiful country for generations to come.


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THREE: an economy for the people

 

Australia’s economy serves our people and the planet.

Our government makes decisions that put people first: decisions that are good for nature, lift people out of poverty and fairly share our country’s wealth.

Everyone contributes taxes so we can have the country we want. The system is fair and there are no loopholes; corporations give back to our common wealth too. We all play by the same set of rules, contributing according to our means.

Our governments deliver the things ordinary people care most about. We have peace of mind knowing that all our children can receive a quality education from the local public school. Our universities and TAFEs are there for all students, not just the fortunate. We trust that our health, transport and other essential services are well funded and up to the task.

Those running our essential services are accountable to the public. We respect the role of business, but do not allow government to shirk its responsibility to provide for the common good. Private corporations contribute to our country, they do not own it, or insert a profit motive where none belongs.

Here, everyone has the right to a roof over their heads and food on the table. Strong, respected and well-funded public support systems enforce this right. It is a comfort to know that in good times and in hard times, we can have the essential things we need. People and families struggling to make ends meet are not degraded, diminished, demonised or driven into poverty. We support each other. It is who we are as a nation.


 
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FOUR: a society where all contributions count and every job has dignity

Whatever we do, our contribution to society is recognised and valued.

Some people have an obvious job or role, others contribute to the common good in other ways. Paid employment is not the only path to worthiness, recognition and success.

Many of us work inside the home, running our households: caring for our children, our elderly, our loved ones. This is understood as essential work – respected and supported by both business and government alike. People who have children no longer need to choose between holding up babies or holding down careers. It’s normal for both men and women to be taken seriously as professionals while working part-time, or with more flexible hours. Caring and parenting are proudly reclaimed from slivers of spare time to the centre of our community life.

Paid jobs also have dignity and workers have rights. People join together to protect and advance those rights, leaving a legacy of better jobs, organisations and communities. At work, people can expect to be treated fairly and paid on time, while earning enough to make ends meet, sustain a family and retire well.

We don’t have to scramble to hold down one or more insecure positions simply to survive. Affordable, quality training; education; and childcare are available to everyone.

We are encouraged and supported in doing work that serves people and the planet in some way – be that cleaning the streets or performing surgery. Cultural and creative work are valued and we fund them well.

We continuously renew and update our workplaces for an evolving future. We know that many jobs will disappear and others we can’t yet imagine will be invented. As technology leaps ahead, we hold on firmly to our humanity.

Each one of us is seen and valued for who we actually are. We live full and meaningful lives in and out of the workplace.


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FIVE: a diversity of people living side by side

 

Australia is a diverse nation.

We see this splendid diversity in our leaders, on our screens, in our papers, in the food we eat, in the books we read and in the cultures we celebrate.

We are a compassionate nation where all people are made to feel safe and welcome. We welcome migrants and refugees, assisting people to become part of our communities and culture with warmth, creativity and love. We are proud of our capacity to do this.

Our belief in equality gives us the courage to turn away from prejudice and discrimination, and turn towards each other. We know that many of our own parents, grandparents and friends were made to feel like unwelcome outsiders at first, and we choose to do things differently. We stand together: across faiths, backgrounds, ages, abilities, colours, sexualities and genders.

We are strong because we live together in harmony. While we may disagree about politics, religion, parenting and taste in music, we do so with respect, peacefully getting on with our lives.


 
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SIX: a country of flourishing communities

 

We are compassionate and connected.

Because our basic needs are met, we have time for each other and our communities.

Our communities are places of music, fun and playfulness, kindness and generosity. The air is clean and the shade is plentiful. Neighbours talk to each other and children play in the streets.

Good infrastructure such as public transport, public parks, collective gardens and collective tool sheds help us get out of our houses and into each other’s company. We connect with each other in our communities, over sports, books, creative arts, gardening, clubs and more. Artists, musicians and storytellers have pride of place in our culture: we relish the joy, insight and meaning they bring to our lives.

Our education system equips us to live meaningful lives. Not only are we taught how to read and write but also how to think critically, build relationships, nurture creativity and listen to different perspectives. We learn about our own worth and we learn the art of belonging.

Families, neighbours and communities look after one another. Everyone is included.

There are spaces for children and teenagers to participate fully in community life. We pride ourselves on a strong sense of community spirit, teaching our children by example how to be good neighbours and friends. We make sure that regardless of age, old, young or in the middle, we all have a place.

And... we have time. Time to care and be cared for. Time to enjoy our families and each other, to savour this beautiful earth, to be creative and to rest.


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SEVEN: a new dawn for women

 

Women are visible, valued and celebrated

– with power in Parliament, business, the community and the home. Women and girls make up half of our leaders at all levels of society and lead us in new and inspiring ways.

Women are paid the same rates as men for the same jobs. Women are given credit and fair compensation for the work we do. Our voices are given airtime and life is better because women are a normal, equal part of the decision-making process at all levels of society.

As a nation we are proud that violence and harassment towards women and girls is never tolerated. Indeed, violence of any kind, towards any person is no longer a sign of strength. We treat each other with respect and human decency. 

Women go about their lives, no longer having to protect against abusive partners, workmates and dates; no longer focusing on what to say, where to walk and what to wear. We are free to live fully and give our best to the world.

Men commit equally to women’s safety, equality and wellbeing; limiting definitions of masculinity fall away. Regardless of gender or sexuality, there is freedom to love, care, live, work and belong. We are whole.


 
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EIGHT: a thriving democracy

Our government exists for the people.

Because we value a strong democracy we are engaged and thoughtful citizens. We know how democracy works and we are confident to play our part in large and small ways. We are not afraid to speak up, initiate political action and work together for the common good of our country – at election time and on every other day of the year.

We can rely on our elected leaders to serve the greater good, putting the needs of the country before party or personal ambition. With big money no longer funding political campaigns and politicians, our leaders are visionary. They think beyond the next election cycle to the next generation, and what our country really needs.

Our Parliament is as diverse as our population: deeply in touch with the communities they represent, and the impact of any decisions they make. Parliamentarians and other leaders emerge from our community representing the many walks of life and the many backgrounds and identities that make up our country.

Public servants are experts in their field, empowered to give frank and fearless advice. Robust, independent oversight helps protect the values of a free and fair democracy. Our laws are upheld with integrity, and our justice system is fair and independent.

We have free speech and a free press and our media serves the public good by asking the difficult questions and holding those in power accountable.

Our democracy serves our people and inspires the world.


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NINE: a proud contributor to a just world

 

Australia does good in the world.

We stand on our own two feet as we develop a fair and just approach to working with other countries. We do not blindly follow others, no matter how powerful.

We are active in building a safer, more peaceful, more united globe. We uphold the international laws and conventions that make our world fairer and more secure for all people.

We expect Australian governments and businesses to uphold human rights, acting in the best interest of people and the planet – everywhere. We reject trade agreements and practises that put profits for a few above the needs of the many.

We work in partnership with countries tackling poverty, injustice and disadvantage. We act from the belief that children growing up in East Timor and Uganda are no less deserving of health, education or safety than children growing up in Sydney and Melbourne. We put our money where our values are.

We not only welcome refugees, we do whatever we can to make the world right for everyone, so people don’t need to flee their homes in the first place.

We are proud of our Australia, proud of what we stand for and proud of our role in the world.

 

So what now?

Australia Remade is about what, together, we could be. It is a shared vision, gathered from hundreds of Australians around the country. It is not a final resting place but rather a spring board from which to act.

We hope this vision will rekindle our imaginations and our power to act, individually and collectively.

So let’s get started. Make this vision your own. Build on it; build your communities from the knowledge that this future is possible. Talk with your neighbours, your children, your local businesses. Call us! Call each other! And let's talk about how, together, we can become an unstoppable force for change.

 

Check out the resources available to help you to take action for an Australia Remade.