Ceremonies

There are a range of ceremonial aspects to Australia Day.

Citizenship Ceremony

Australian citizenship is more than just a ceremony and forms an important part of Australia Day celebrations. More than 16,000 people choose Australia Day to become an Australian citizen.

Australian citizenship symbolises our unity as a nation and 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.

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.
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 Border Protection administers citizenship ceremonies and they notify local government regarding new citizens in their area. There are 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.

Australian children with the Australian Flag

Affirmation Ceremony

Is a short event where anyone can affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people. At an Affirmation Ceremony, attendees recite an affirmation that is based on the pledge made by new citizens and is an opportunity for members of the community to express their national pride and spirit and to celebrate the values that we share as Australians. Participation is voluntary but everyone is welcome to be involved.


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.

 

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.
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 other Australian citizenship and affirmation products are available at no charge via the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The special edition Australia Day Affirmation cards can be ordered from the National Australia Day Council by emailing info@australiaday.org.au.


More information is available at Australian Citizenship and Affirmation

The Australian Flag and flag flying

On Australia Day, people all over the country will fly the Australian National Flag, as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags.


As the nation's foremost symbol, the Australian National Flag should be used with respect and dignity.


The below protocols are to assist you when flying or using the flag.

  • It is best practice to display the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag together.
  • The correct order for displaying them is: Australian, Aboriginal and then Torres Strait Islander from left to right when looking at the stage. If you are also displaying your State or Territory flag, the order would be Australian, your State or Territory, Aboriginal and then Torres Strait Islander from left to right again.
  • The flags should not be flown upside down, below are pictures of the correct way.
  • All flags must be the same size.
  • If flying all state flags the order is as follows:
    • Australian
    • NSW
    • VIC
    • QLD
    • WA
    • SA
    • TAS
    • ACT
    • NT
    • Aboriginal
    • Torres Strait Islander
    • If you have access to another Australian Flag it would go at the end as well as the start.


More information is available at the It's An Honour website.