Affirmation ceremonies allow Australian-born citizens to affirm their loyalty to Australia and its people—engendering a feeling of belonging to their community and building pride in their citizenship. These ceremonies have no status in law and no legal effect. Participation is voluntary.
The Affirmation Ceremony should be foreshadowed at the beginning of the function or Citizenship Ceremony to allow those present to consider whether they wish to participate. It should be made clear that participation is voluntary and that recitation of the affirmation has no legal effect.
The Affirmation reads:
As an Australian citizen,
I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share
whose rights and liberties I respect,
and whose laws I uphold and obey.
Many Australians would not have had an opportunity to declare their commitment to Australia and its people at a Citizenship Ceremony because they were born in Australia. Some overseas-born Australian citizens have previously pledged their commitment to Australia at a Citizenship Ceremony. However, they may wish to join in and re-affirm their loyalty to Australia and its people. There are also many people living in Australia who, although not yet Australian citizens, consider Australia their home. They too may wish to express their loyalty to Australia and show their support for the values that are part of Australian citizenship, by joining in the affirmation from the second line.
Any Australian citizen can conduct Affirmation Ceremonies as part of special community celebrations, meetings, school assemblies and events such as a flag raising ceremony or a community BBQ. Affirmation Ceremonies are often part of celebrations for days of national significance such as: Australia Day (26 January); Harmony Day (21 March); ANZAC Day (25 April); Australian Citizenship Day (17 September).
When conducting an affirmation ceremony, the host (or presiding officer) should invite all Australians who wish to publicly affirm their commitment to Australia and its people, to stand in their place and join in repeating the affirmation. The host should also advise non-Australian citizens that they are welcome to join in at the second line.
Affirmation cards and a wide range of other Australian citizenship and affirmation products are available at no charge and can be obtained via an online order form from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The special edition Australia Day Affirmation cards can be ordered from the National Australia Day Council by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit:
Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Citizenship Ceremonies Code
Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Affirmation Ceremonies
Australian Citizenship and Affirmation