Australian citizenship is an immense privilege, and fundamental to our national identity. Whether you are Australian by birth or choose to settle here, Australian citizenship is at the heart of who we are and what we believe as a nation.
The Government is updating the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, which governs how citizenship ceremonies are conducted, to ensure the importance of these events is fully reflected across our nation.
As part of this update, the Government will require that citizenship ceremonies be held on Australia Day across the nation.
More than 73,000 people have become Australian citizens on Australia Day in the past five years, making it by far the most popular day of the year for people to attend a citizenship ceremony.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the new Code will better reflect the expectations of the Australian community and provide clear guidance to Councils on hosting citizenship ceremonies.
“New citizens should be given the opportunity to become an Australian on our national day,” Mr Coleman said.
“While most Councils already hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day, becoming an Australian on our national day is a great privilege and I want more people to have that opportunity.
“Australia Day is an incredibly important part of our national calendar, and each year Australians in huge numbers celebrate our success at the many events organised by Councils across the country.”
Along with a requirement to hold a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day, Councils will also be required to hold a ceremony on Australian Citizenship Day (September 17). Councils will be able to continue to hold citizenship ceremonies on other days throughout the year.
A recommended dress standard will also be introduced for those who attend a citizenship ceremony given the significance and formality of the event. Conferees may continue to wear national or cultural dress.
Mr Coleman will write to all Councils in the coming days, who will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the Code. The new Code will be formally introduced in the first half of 2019.
Once implemented, Councils that choose not to hold a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day will be in breach of the Code and will have their authorisation to host citizenship ceremonies revoked.