Title slide: Celebrating Australian Citizenship
Title slide: Hosting an Australian Citizenship Ceremony – An overview for ceremony organisers.
Narrator: Australian citizenship ceremonies are a special and memorable occasion for new citizens. Local councils and community organisations play an important role in hosting ceremonies. Let’s take a look at the key aspects of a ceremony.
Some elements of a ceremony are required by law.
Every ceremony must have an authorised presiding officer who must also be an Australian citizen.
The presiding officer must read verbatim the ‘the preamble’ which is a statement outlining the obligations of citizenship.
The presiding officer must administer the pledge of commitment, which must be recited out loud by all people becoming citizens at a ceremony.
If these requirements are not met, individuals cannot legally become Australian citizens.
Representatives from all levels of Government – local, state and federal must be invited to attend.
Other official guests that should be invited include representatives from the community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional owners, elders or leaders.
Incorporating local First Nations People’s and cultural elements provides an opportunity to build a greater understanding of Australia’s rich and diverse histories and cultures.
A range of national symbols are included as part of the ceremony set up, including the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, an official portrait of the Head of State and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.
Prior to the ceremony all new citizens must be formally registered.
A special welcome message from the Minister responsible for Citizenship should be read by either a Federal Member of Parliament or Senator, or the Presiding officer if neither are in attendance.
Event organisers can invite guest speakers. Speeches should be apolitical, non-commercial and secular.
New citizens are provided with a citizenship certificate, which is an official legal document and a symbol of a new chapter in their lives.
Everyone present, citizens and non-citizens, can recite the Australian Citizenship Affirmation to show their commitment to Australia.
The Australian National Anthem can be played to conclude the ceremony.
If you want to know more about holding a citizenship ceremony, please refer to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code which is available on the Department’s website at citizenship.gov.au/ceremony.