Citizenship ceremonies mark Australia Day

This Australia Day, more than 16,000 people from 154 different countries are set to become Australian citizens at almost 400 citizenship ceremonies nationwide.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton congratulated the country’s newest Aussies as they pledged their loyalty and commitment to the country.

“Australia Day provides the opportunity for all of us to openly reflect on what it means to be Australian,” Minister Dutton said.

“Today we gather to publicly and respectfully express our national pride, celebrate our shared values and recommit our determination to make Australia an even better place for future generations to come.

“It is an opportunity to come together, stand united in our democratic beliefs and values and acknowledge the importance of what it means to become an Australian,” he added.

Many thousands of existing Australians are also expected to affirm their citizenship during the country’s national day, bringing communities together in regional and metropolitan Australia.

Mr Dutton will preside over a morning ceremony at his local Rotary Club in Samford Valley, followed by another ceremony in Strathpine.

“Citizenship is the common bond uniting all Australians. Whether you are a citizen by birth or by pledge, today we are reminded by the numbers of those affirming their loyalty to Australia and its people, that we truly do live in the ‘lucky country’,” Mr Dutton said.

Today’s newest citizens join more than five million others who have chosen to become Australian citizens since the first ceremony in 1949.

Celebrated on 26th January every year, Australia Day marks 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.