More Than 16 000 New Australians To Celebrate Australia Day 2010

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26th January 2010, 08:45am - Views: 338
More Than 16 000 New Australians to Celebrate Australia Day 2010

Australia Day 2010 will see almost 16 500 people from 144 countries make the pledge to become Australian citizens as the nation celebrates our national day today.

More than 350 ceremonies will be staged across the nation, including a mega-ceremony in Wanneroo, Western Australia where some 2600 people will become citizens in the largest ceremony in Australian history.

In the nation's capital, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will confer citizenship on 77 people from 23 countries, while in New South Wales, 3500 people will become citizens at more than 100 ceremonies across the state including at Byron Bay, Broken Hill, Albury and Tamworth.

Across Victoria, more than 3000 people will become citizens on January 26, while Tasmania will welcome almost 300 new citizens at 15 ceremonies.

About 950 people will become citizens in South Australia at events such as the traditional ceremony staged during the one-day international cricket match at Adelaide Oval, while 3500 people will become citizens at around 60 ceremonies in Queensland.

In the Northern Territory, about 120 people from 34 countries will become citizens at ceremonies to be staged in Darwin and far flung locations such as Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said Australia has been enriched by the cultures of people from more than 200 countries who have chosen to call Australia home.

"I am certain our new citizens will continue this tradition," Senator Evans said.

"Becoming an Australian citizen is an exciting step that shows commitment and loyalty to this country and the desire to share a common future.

"Australian citizenship ceremonies provide the newest members of our nation with an opportunity to make a formal commitment to this country and to celebrate what it means to be an Australian citizen.

"At the same time, January 26 gives all Australians the chance to enjoy our nation's special day, celebrate being part of such a wonderful country and also offer our sincere welcome and congratulations to our newest citizens."

Note: Broadcast-quality audio grabs from Senator Evans and information on Australian citizenship are available online at: www.newsroom.immi.gov.au

For information about citizenship ceremonies and interviews with new citizens, contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship National Communications Branch: (02) 6264 2244

Media Contact: Simon Dowding (08) 9481 4844 or 0411 138 541

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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