Australia Citizenship Day is celebrated annually on September 17. This day is for Australians by birth or choice to celebrate and appreciate their country. It allows citizens to consider their responsibilities and privileges. Most importantly, it’s a chance for Australian-born citizens to affirm their commitment, something previously reserved for new citizens. Those approved as Australian citizens get to fulfill the last and most crucial step in the process: The Australian citizenship ceremony, a formal, government-required event for everyone trying to become an Australian citizen. New citizens pledge their commitment while long-time citizens reaffirm their love and solidarity for their country.
History of Australian Citizenship Day
Australia is one of the more diverse countries in the world. It’s estimated that seven million people have immigrated to the country since 1945 and that one in two Australians have a non-Australian parent. Those wanting to be a permanent part of the country attend a ceremony to celebrate their citizenship.
The Australian Citizenship Ceremony has long been a part of becoming an Australian citizen. The formal event is held by officials to welcome the newcomers. In 1999, on the ceremony’s 50th anniversary, a new addition to the ceremony was introduced, the Australian citizenship affirmation, a pledge that publicly declares commitment to the country. This one-time celebration became a permanent feature at citizens’ request.
Australian Citizenship Day was created 20 years ago on September 17, 2001. The day itself is a product of proud Australians wanting to honor their country. Previously, the only ones to participate in affirmation ceremonies were those newly joining the country. Now all Australians can participate and hold their affirmation ceremony, even if Australia is the only home they’ve ever known. The affirmation ceremonies are held on formal occasions and national holidays, such as Australia Day, Wattle Day, Constitution Day, and, of course, Australian Citizenship Day.
Australian Citizenship Day timeline
The Australian citizenship ceremony is created to celebrate new citizens.
On the 50th anniversary of the ceremony, the Australian citizenship affirmation is introduced, originally a temporary addition.
The Australian Citizenship Council recommends starting Australian Citizenship Day as a way of allowing all Australians to celebrate their heritage.
The Australian government makes the Australian citizenship affirmation a permanent practice for all to participate in.
Australian Citizenship Day FAQs
What Happens at the Australian citizenship ceremony?
The ceremony begins with a formal introduction, a speech, and an address to the participants. The participants then make their pledges. It ends with performing the national anthem.
How long is the wait between the citizenship test and the ceremony?
It takes approximately six months.
How often are Australian citizenship ceremonies held?
It’s held every two to three months.
How to Observe Australian Citizenship Day
Host or attend a citizenship affirmation ceremony
Whether you’re a new or former citizen, this holiday allows everyone to pledge their allegiance to the country. Publicly announce your commitment to your country and your understanding of your privileges and duty as a citizen.
Organize an event
You can honor your country by organizing a related event in your school or workplace. Speak about Australia and what it means to you.
Educate others about the importance of this day, especially your children. Many resources explain all the details surrounding this special holiday.
5 Facts To Appreciate About Australia
It’s estimated that 26% of the population were born overseas and 20% of them speak a language other than English.
90% of indigenous animal species in Australia don’t exist anywhere else in the world.
The natural surroundings
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system and the only living thing visible from space.
The rich history
A recent study found that the Aboriginal Australians mark the oldest human civilization.
Australians have invented ultrasounds, the electronic pacemaker, the bionic ear, and many other medical inventions.
Why Australian Citizenship Day is Important
A day of reflection makes those indifferent more appreciative of what they have. It makes citizens appreciative of their right to vote.
Teaching younger generations
Schools hold assemblies and allow students to express their appreciation for the country. It is important to reinforce the values of a culture in the young people of a nation.
No matter where you were born or what you look like, everyone gets to share in the celebrations. This reaffirms everyone’s Australia-ness.
Australian Citizenship Day dates