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65 years of celebrating citizenship

3 February 20140 comments

Australia Day celebration2A series of events and celebrations around the nation this month marked the 65th year of Australian citizenship.

More than 4.5 million people have now chosen to become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony 65 years ago in 1949.

As part of Australia Day celebrations this year, a record 17,863 people from 155 different countries made the pledge to become new Australian citizens in some 400 ceremonies staged across the country.

The celebrations triggered year-long festivities to mark the special 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship.

Victoria welcomed the most new citizens of any state, with almost 4,500 people from over 118 countries in 76 special citizenship ceremonies, followed by Queensland with almost 4,440 new citizens from 111 countries in 75 special citizenship ceremonies.

New South Wales welcomed almost 3,600 new citizens, Brisbane with 585, Tasmania with over 330, and Adelaide with 13. In South Australia, there were almost 1,300 new citizens from 77 countries in 38 special citizenship ceremonies; Western Australia welcomed about 3,140 new citizens from 89 countries, and the Northern Territory welcomed more than 380 new citizens from 89 countries.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection the Hon Scott Morrison said Australia was a richer place because of the people who have come here from other lands.

“While Australia Day is a special occasion for all Australians to reflect on the values we share as a nation, it also has a unique meaning for those becoming citizens today,” Minister Morrison said.

Australia Day is a time to celebrate our country and acknowledge what has made our nation what it is today – a rich history and unique tapestry of different cultures, paths and stories woven together to form modern Australia,” he said.

Minister Morrison acknowledged the significance of the 65th anniversary of citizenship in this country, saying it was an opportunity for all Australian citizens, whether by birth or choice, to pause and reflect on the privileges and responsibilities which come with being an Australian citizen.

“I congratulate the country’s newest citizens on the final step in their migrant journey and welcome all Australians in celebrating 65 years of citizenship in the country,” Minister Morrison said.