Independent Committee To Review Citizenship Test

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28th April 2008, 04:35pm - Views: 617
Independent Committee to Review Citizenship Test

An independent committee of seven eminent Australians will review the citizenship test, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced today.

Former Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Richard Woolcott AC will chair the Citizenship Test Review Committee, which will examine the operation and effectiveness of the test since its introduction on 1 October last year.

"The Government is committed to maintaining the citizenship test, but now that it has been in place for six months, it is timely to review it to make sure it is achieving its proper purpose as an effective pathway for residents to become citizens," Senator Evans said.

"The committee will examine aspects of the content and operation of the citizenship test, including the experiences of applicants and the impact on citizenship applications, and consider ways to improve its operation and effectiveness.

"The committee will be chaired by Mr Woolcott AC, a former diplomat with a long and distinguished public service career and an excellent ambassador for multicultural relations."

The six other members appointed to the independent committee are former Olympian Rechelle Hawkes; SBS director Paula Masselos; refugee advocate Julianna Nkrumah; Australia Day Council CEO Warren Pearson; former Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Rtd Chris Ritchie AO RANR; and legal expert Professor Kim Rubenstein.

"The committee will consult actively with the Australian community to ensure views from the public are heard and considered, so I urge people to take the opportunity to provide feedback," Senator Evans said.

"It is important to Government that stakeholders and interested members of the public are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of future policy directions regarding the citizenship test.

"The Rudd Government believes that a citizenship test can play a valuable role in both encouraging people to find out more about our great nation as well as understanding the responsibilities and privileges which being an Australian citizen brings.

"A test is also a useful mechanism for determining whether a person meets the general legal requirements for becoming an Australian including whether they possess a basic knowledge of the English language."

The committee began work on the review today (28 April) and is due to report back to the Minister by mid year. Further information is available at www.citizenshiptestreview.gov.au or by writing to the Citizenship Testing Review Committee, PO Box 1179, Belconnen ACT 2616.

Media Contact: Simon Dowding (02)-6277-7860 or 0411-138-541


SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans

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