Demand for Australian citizenship ceremonies high

by Ray Clancy on January 23, 2012

in Australia Immigration

Many local councils hold affirmation ceremonies on Australia Day

Thousands of foreigners and expats will celebrate becoming Australian citizens later this month on Australia Day by taking part in citizenship ceremonies.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said affirmation ceremonies were growing in popularity, with more than 125 local councils across the nation including them as part of their Australia Day celebrations on 26 January.

A departmental spokesman said affirmation ceremonies for existing citizens are also becoming popular. They were introduced in 1999 as an opportunity for existing citizens to express their pride and loyalty to the nation, involve a recitation of an affirmation based on the Australian citizenship pledge, which is made by new citizens at their citizenship ceremonies.

‘The popularity of affirmation ceremonies continues to grow with more and more existing Australian citizens affirming their commitment to Australia at stand-alone events as well as at citizenship ceremonies,’ the spokesman said.

‘We have seen a growing trend of councils, aged care facilities, community organisations and schools conducting affirmation ceremonies on special occasions such as Australia Day,’ he added.

The DIAC spokesman encouraged groups and individuals to take part in, or stage, an affirmation ceremony to share in the pride of citizenship.

‘Fittingly, Australia Day is the most popular day of the year for people to become Australian citizens, with some 13,700 people scheduled to make the pledge on January 26,’ the spokesman said.

‘It’s also the perfect occasion for all Australians, whether citizens by birth or by choice, to express their commitment to the nation and each other through participating in an affirmation ceremony.

‘Through citizenship and affirmation ceremonies, we reflect on the freedoms, responsibilities and privileges that go hand in hand with being an Australian,’ he explained.

‘Affirmation ceremonies increase community awareness of Australian citizenship, promote community participation and help build pride in Australians about their citizenship,’ he added.

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