More than 4,000 people from 115 countries have become citizens at some 120 ceremonies across the nation as part of Australian Citizenship Day celebrations.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and local government councils have been hosting citizenship ceremonies in state and territory capital cities, major metropolitan centres and regional towns across Australia as part of the celebrations.
Children and communities across the nation are also helping to mark Australian Citizenship Day with schools, councils, libraries and community organisations staging special citizenship affirmation ceremonies for existing citizens to express their loyalty to Australia.'This year is a particularly special occasion, marking the tenth anniversary of Australian Citizenship Day, which is a great opportunity for people to reflect on the importance of the common bond of citizenship,' said Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen.
'Becoming an Australian citizen is a step that shows commitment to this country and the desire to share a common future. I congratulate all of Australia's newest citizens and invite them to share in our pride in being part of this great nation,' he added.
Since 1949, Australia has welcomed more than four million new citizens, including more than one million new citizens in the past decade.
In New South Wales following the launch of Australian Citizenship Day celebrations with a special Opera House citizenship ceremony last month, more than 1,300 people will become Australian citizens in NSW in some 40 ceremonies across the state.
Almost 250 people will become Australian citizens in a dozen ceremonies across the state of South Australia. A citizenship ceremony for around 45 new citizens was held at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens.
In Queensland more than 600 people will become Australian citizens in 15 ceremonies across the state. A citizenship ceremony for around 60 people will be staged at Queensland Parliament House on Australian Citizenship Day. There will also be a small citizenship ceremony at the Cairns 'Tropical Wave' multicultural festival on Australian Citizenship Day.
Around 80 people will become Australian citizens in six ceremonies across Tasmania. A citizenship ceremony for some 30 new citizens with Launceston City Council was held on at the Tram Sheds at Inversek, with Tasmania's Local Hero 2011 as guest speaker.
In Victoria almost 1,000 people will become Australian citizens in 19 ceremonies across the state. A citizenship ceremony was staged at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne for some 150 new citizens.
More than 600 people will become Australian citizens in 25 ceremonies across the state of Western Australia. A citizenship ceremony for around 40 new citizens is being held at the WA DIAC state office in Perth.
Almost 120 people in three ceremonies will become citizens in the territory of Northern Australia.