The personal journeys and experiences of those taking citizenship serve to remind us all of the importance and relevance of the values and beliefs which underpin Australia Day.
Citizenship represents a commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to a country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home.
Citizenship ceremonies are often presided over by officials including the Australian Governor-General, Prime Minister, government ministers and local government mayors.
Rights and responsibilities
Citizenship brings with it significant rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote, stand for public office and travel on an Australian passport.
Taking up Australian citizenship doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll lose your original citizenship. Some countries allow you to have both. Check with your embassy or consulate.
Affirmation ceremony for existing citizens
Australia Day is also an opportunity for all Australians to affirm their commitment to Australia by taking part in an Affirmation ceremony. These ceremonies may be part of a citizenship ceremony or other community function.
Message from the Lord Mayor of Sydney
“When you make the decision to become Australian, you are deciding to become part of a nation which is not your homeland, but which you have decided to adopt as your own. This is a big step, regardless of how long you have been living in Australia.
When you become an Australian it’s important you don’t forget the language, customs or culture of your country of birth. They can add to the cultural riches of 21st-century Australia.
I hope that you will embrace the values of freedom, peace, diversity and acceptance that we enjoy in Australia, particularly here in the City of Sydney.
And I hope that they are the values that you will pass on to your children.”
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney