Australian Citizenship Day is approaching

Publish Date: Aug 27, 2014

Australian citizenship will be celebrated next month and serve as a reminder of the shared bond that this legal status provides. 

September 17 marks Australian Citizenship Day. This date was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the day that the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 was renamed the Australian Citizenship Act 1948.

The first Australian Citizenship Day was held in 2001 to develop awareness of Australian citizenship in the community.

 The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is encouraging people to hold an affirmation ceremony to mark the occasion. The purpose of the ceremony is to allow people to express their pride in becoming an Australian citizen. 

Affirmation ceremonies can take place in whatever form you choose, from hosting a morning tea to holding a barbeque or having a community event. People are encouraged to say the Australian citizenship affirmation at the ceremony that reinforces the democratic values of Australia.

Businesses, community groups and schools are also encouraged to hold Australian Citizenship ceremonies. In 2011, the Ashfield Library had a morning teas for the local community. Ashfield's elected councillors were also there to meet and talk to the public. 

Former Councillor and Mayor of Ashfield Lyall Kennedy said "it was lovely to have a display to highlight the importance of citizenship". 

Primary and secondary schools are also encouraged to include Australian Citizenship in their lesson plans covering a range of topics from Australian citizens who have contributed to national identity, the demographics of Australia and what is involved in a citizenship ceremony. A role-play ceremony can occur for students to get a deeper understanding of the event. 

More than 2,200 people participated in the 46 Australian citizenship ceremonies held last year.

Dual citizenship 

Australian citizens are able to hold dual or multiple citizenship if it is also possible under the laws of the other country. Before April 4 2002, dual citizenship was not possible. 

If you are a permanent resident in Australia and are interested in becoming a citizen, check to see if the laws of the other country allow dual citizenship. You may be able to have both. Australian citizens can also automatically gain citizenship to another country through marriage depending on the laws of the other country. 

If you are interested in Australian citizenship an immigration lawyer can talk you through the process and any possible legal implications. 

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