Australia’s diversity was on display today in celebration of Australian Citizenship Day with more than 3,500 people from 108 countries expected to become Australian citizens at more than 80 ceremonies across the nation.
Australian Navy officer William McDougall will be among 98 people who become Australian citizens in a ceremony to mark Australian Citizenship Day at Perth’s State Library today.
Celebrated annually on September 17, Australian Citizenship Day helps raise community awareness of the meaning and value of Australian citizenship.
The State Library ceremony will be one of 21 citizenship ceremonies conducted across Western Australia involving more than 700 people from more than 26 nations.
Lieutenant Commander McDougall, formerly of the Royal Navy, is a submarine engineer and will be joined by his wife, Jacqueline, who is also becoming an Australian citizen today.
“The work I am doing is very exciting and the lifestyle and life choices are better in Australia. That’s why we are doing this.”
“I came from the UK, after 29 years in the Royal Navy, on an exchange programme between the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy and joined the Australian Navy in 2015 when they offered me a job.”
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton congratulated all the new citizens as they pledged their loyalty and commitment to Australia.
Mr Dutton said Australian Citizenship Day was not only a day for new citizens to celebrate, but also a day for Australians to affirm their commitment to Australia.
“The day gives the Australian community an opportunity to reflect on the importance and meaning of being an Australian citizen.
“Now, perhaps more than ever, it is important to pause and reflect on the values responsibilities and privileges we share through the unifying bond of Australian citizenship.”
This month some 6,050 people from 119 countries are expected to have citizenship conferred in more than 142 ceremonies.
More than 4.5 million people have become citizens since Australian citizenship was introduced in 1949.
Other WA council ceremonies and the number of people becoming Australians in WA are: Armadale (20), Bayswater (70), Canning (98), Pingelly (1), Mundaring (40), Wyalkatchem (4), Augusta Margaret River (5), Busselton (18), East Pilbara (8), Kwinana (35), South Perth (80), Gosnells (115), Nedlands (35), Esperance (4), Greater Geraldton (20), Melville (105), Bunbury (25), Capel (30), Serpentine-Jarrahdale (15), Dumbleyung (1).