It is a ceremony that nearly 115,000 people attended last year, and for some people represents one of life’s proudest moments.
Tomorrow marks Australian Citizenship Day, a day commemorating the meaning and value of Australian citizenship within the community.
Becoming an Australian citizen is not always easy – applicants need to already be a permanent resident or fit a select criteria, and then need to pass a citizenship exam.
“The day gives the Australian community an opportunity to reflect on the importance and meaning of being an Australian citizen,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said about the event.
“Now, perhaps more than ever, it is important to pause and reflect on the values responsibilities and privileges we share through the unifying bond of Australian citizenship,” Mr Dutton said.
More than 4.5 million people have become Australian citizens since the ceremony was introduced in 1949 – but since the original intake of citizens the cultures arriving have changed dramatically, from predominantly European backgrounds such as Italian and Polish migrants – the two largest groups to arrive in the original year of citizenship – to today’s largest group of arrivals; Indians, British and Chinese, according to 2015 citizenship data.
“The number of Australian residents born in India has almost tripled over the last 10 years and residents born in China have more than doubled in this time,” Australian Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Beidar Cho said in a recent media release.
To celebrate Australian Citizenship Day, a number of citizenship ceremonies and citizenship affirmations are being held across Australia – for more information visit https://www.border.gov.au/AusCitzDay