Today is Australia Day. A day that Australians throughout the country and living abroad gather to celebrate their national day in true Aussies fashion – namely barbecues and beers.
Held on 26th January every year, the day mark the arrival of the first fleet of British ships that arrived in the land today known as Australia in 1788 – and set the country on its path to becoming the nation it is today.
However, in recent years the day has become particularly special to some people for a new reason. Each year, more and more citizenship ceremonies are being held on Australia Day, as permanent residents take their citizenship oaths on their adopted home country’s national day.
This Australia Day will see almost 13,000 new citizens pledge their commitment to Australia. The new citizens will come from 129 different countries and will be recognised in more than 330 ceremonies nationwide.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, says more people become citizens on Australia Day than any other day of the year. “Citizenship ceremonies provide a way for all citizens, new or old, to come together and bond over our shared characteristics, beliefs and values,” he explained. “Australia Day is a time for us to unite and welcome our newest citizens to this great country.”
The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, echoed Mr Dutton’s views. “On Australia Day, we celebrate the big three pillars of our society; our Indigenous heritage, the British foundation and multicultural character,” he said. “I encourage all Australians to support their local Australia Day citizenship ceremonies and demonstrate why we are proud to call Australia home.”
New South Wales will welcome the most new citizens of any state (3,393), followed by Victoria (2.928) and Western Australia (2,745).
Article published 26th January 2018