Record number become Australian citizens on Australia Day

by Ray Clancy on January 30, 2014

in Australia, Australia Immigration, General Information

A record number of people, many of them who have made a new life for themselves over decades, became Australian citizens on Australia Day.

A record 17,863 people took part in services across the country to pledge themselves to their new nation in a year that marks the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship.

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Victoria hosted the most new citizens out of all the states and territories with 4,500 people from 118 different countries

Politicians said it was an opportunity to be proud and celebrate the lifestyle in Australia that attracts so many people from overseas to live and work.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said it was an opportunity for everyone, whether Australian by birth or by taking the pledge , to pause and reflect on the privileges and responsibilities which come with being an Australian citizen.

‘Australia Day is a time to remember how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful country. The fact that a record number of migrants proudly accepted Australian citizenship is testament to the fact that we live in the best country in the world and continue to attract those who understand the immense opportunities that exist here,’ she added.

Victoria hosted the most new citizens out of all the states and territories with 4,500 people from 118 different countries made the pledge to become Australian citizens in some 76 ceremonies staged across the state.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said it was not only a chance to celebrate what unites Australians on Australia Day but also to acknowledge the importance of citizenship in Australia.

‘The Australian story is one of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice. It is our duty to honour the contribution of previous generations and to uphold the values that guided them and have stood the test of time,’ he explained.

‘Australia Day is always a special day for Australians and with this year’s events also marking the 65th year of Australian citizenship there has never been a better time to celebrate the spirit and diversity of our country,’ he added.

More than 4.5 million have chosen to become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which came into force on 26 January 1949.

‘The 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship is an opportunity for all of us, whether Australian by birth or by pledge, to pause and reflect on the privileges and responsibilities which come with being an Australian citizen,’ Morrison concluded.

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