Thousands to celebrate Australian Citizenship Day

by Ray Clancy on September 17, 2012

in Australia, Australia Immigration

Thousands become citizens on Australia Citizenship Day

Thousands of people from 115 countries will become citizens at hundreds of ceremonies today (Monday 17 September) and during the rest of the month as part of Australian Citizenship Day celebrations.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship, in partnership with local councils, said it will host around 250 citizenship ceremonies for 9,000 people in state and territory capital cities, major metropolitan centres and regional towns throughout Australia in September.

‘Australian Citizenship Day is a great opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the value of citizenship, whether they have become citizens by birth or by choice,’ said the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen.

‘Becoming an Australian citizen is an important step and shows commitment to this country and its people. I invite Australia’s newest citizens to share in the common bond of citizenship and the responsibilities and privileges it entails,’ he added.

Schools, scouting groups and community organisations will also help to celebrate Australian Citizenship Day with educational activities and special citizenship affirmation ceremonies for existing citizens to express their loyalty to Australia.

Australia has welcomed more than four and a half million new citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949.

Highlights this year include around 540 people who will become Australian citizens in New South Wales in 14 ceremonies across the state.

In South Australia following a special Adelaide City Council ceremony for 60 people on 14 September, more than 160 people will become Australian citizens in five ceremonies across the state today.

The biggest Australian Citizenship Day ceremony in the country will be hosted by Brisbane City Council at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for more than 1,100 conferees from close to 100 countries. There will also be ceremonies in Townsville and at a Gold Coast multicultural festival.

A DIAC citizenship ceremony for some 30 new citizens will be held at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania with People of Australia Ambassador Isaiah Lahai as guest speaker.

In Victoria the Carlton Football Club will host one of nine ceremonies across the state, with more than 200 people officially joining the Australian family while in Western Australia almost 170 people will become Australian citizens in 17 ceremonies across the state.

A citizenship ceremony for around 15 new citizens is being held at the WA DIAC state office in Perth, in the Northern Territory around 140 people will become citizens in three ceremonies in the territory and in the Australian Capital Territory two ceremonies will make citizens of 156 people from more than 40 countries.

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