Victoria Celebrates Australia Day 2010

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25th January 2010, 04:43pm - Views: 597
Victoria Celebrates Australia Day 2010

About 3350 people from an atlas list of countries will become citizens at 77 special Australia Day ceremonies in Victoria tomorrow.

Nationwide, a record 16 500 people from 144 countries will become citizens at 350 ceremonies on and around Australia Day making 2010 celebrations the biggest ever.

In Victoria, Melbourne's second-largest municipality, Brimbank, will host the state's largest ceremony at the Kevin Wheelahan Gardens, where 220 people from 36 countries will become citizens.

Melbourne City Council will stage a citizenship ceremony for 100 conferees. In rural Victoria 134 people will become citizens, including 17 in a Mildura Rural City Council ceremony.

Grandfather Bill McCloy, of Croydon North, will finally become a citizen after 51 years in Australia. Originally from Northern Ireland, Mr McCloy came to Australia at age 16 and has long considered himself an Australian.

"I've been here half a century so it's about time I became a citizen. And like a typical Irishman, I intend celebrating afterwards with family and friends," Mr McCloy said.

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.

"Becoming an Australian citizen shows commitment and loyalty to this country and a desire to share in our common future," Senator Evans said.

"Australian citizenship is about people embracing a new national identity and a chance for all Australians to understand the role citizenship plays in building a strong, unified nation.

"Our citizenship is something we should all actively celebrate on Australia Day.

"I invite everyone attending ceremonies to also celebrate their commitment to Australia by joining in the affirmation and publicly stating their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people."

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

For interviews with new citizens: Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship National Communications Branch on (02) 6264 2244.

Media Contacts:
Simon Dowding (02) 6277 7860 or 0411 138 541 (Minister's office)
DIAC National Communications Branch on (02) 6264 2244


SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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