A special citizenship ceremony held at Carlton Football Club yesterday saw 33 people become Australia’s newest citizens.
Carlton players Ciaran Byrne, Ciaran Sheehan and Zach Tuohy participated in the event, held at Carlton’s Ikon Park home, presenting the 33 conferees with Carlton Football Club show bags and club memberships.
“It was fantastic to be involved in the ceremony and help welcome the new citizens to our football club. We hope they will become passionate Bluebaggers and get behind us at all our games,” Carlton’s Zach Tuohy said. “The AFL plays an important role promoting multiculturalism in Australia and Carlton is certainly really passionate about it – they were fantastic in welcoming me and helping me feel at home when I moved over from Ireland.”
The ceremony was also attended by Federal Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt and Victorian MP for Melbourne Ellen Sandell, who presented each of the conferees with a gift of a native plant.
Regional Director for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Peter van Vliet was also proud to participate in the ceremony to welcome then country’s newest citizens.
“It is important that all Australians value their citizenship regardless of how they became a citizen whether by birth, migration or through citizenship by descent”, Mr van Vliet said. “Australian citizenship represents a commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future.”
Since the first citizenship ceremony was held some 66 years ago, more than four and a half million people have chosen to become Australian citizens.
In 2015 Australia has already welcomed more than 84,000 new Australian citizens with more ceremonies planned for each state and territory around Australia throughout the year.
In order to be eligible to apply for citizenship an applicant must have had four years lawful residence in Australia. This period must include 12 months as a permanent resident immediately before making an application for Australian citizenship. They must have had no more than 12 months absence from Australia in total in the four years prior to application, including not more than 90 days in the 12 months immediately prior to application.