Australian citizenship is more than just a ceremony and forms an important part of Australia Day celebrations. It symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home. Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting our diversity.
Citizenship ceremonies have both personal and legal dimensions. Citizenship brings with it significant rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote, stand for public office, and travel on an Australian passport.
Most people are required to make the Pledge of Commitment as the final step in becoming an Australian citizen.
Once their application has been approved, arrangements are made for them to attend a Citizenship Ceremony at which they make the pledge. Once the pledge had been made before a person delegated by the Minister, the person is an Australian citizen.
An Australian Citizenship Affirmation is a statement that gives all Australians, not only our newest citizens, the opportunity to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people.
Citizenship ceremonies are generally conducted by local government councils and can be held on Australia Day as part of the program of events. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship administers citizenship ceremonies. The Department notifies local government regarding new citizens in their area. There are clear protocols which must be followed in relation to Citizenship ceremonies. Find more information at the Australian citizenship website.
If you intend to incorporate a Citizenship ceremony into your Australia Day event you may find this helpful.