Colac Otway Shire Council will host an online citizenship ceremony on Thursday 11 June to welcome new citizens to the shire.
Under the guidelines provided by the Department of Home Affairs, Council is holding the online Australian citizenship ceremony to enable people to become citizens during the coronavirus crisis.
Chief Executive Peter Brown said Council was pleased to be able to offer an alternative to the traditional ceremonies while COVID restrictions were in place.
“With in-person citizenship ceremonies placed on hold, we’re really happy to be able to offer an alternative to allow people to get their citizenship via a video ceremony.
“Online ceremonies will continue to be offered as a temporary replacement to traditional in-person ceremonies until COVID restrictions ease.
“All those participating in the online citizenship ceremony will be invited to the next traditional ceremony, scheduled for September. We hope by that time, we can have everyone participate in the festivities of the ceremony, with family and friends invited to come along and share in the special event.
Mr Brown said Colac Otway Mayor Jason Schram would conduct Thursday’s online ceremony one on one with each person via video link.
“We’re setting up video conferencing links with the people who are becoming citizens for Colac Otway Mayor Jason Schram to conduct the ceremony individually with each person online.
“The most important part of the ceremony is the pledge of loyalty to Australia and its people, the Mayor will read this, to be repeated by each person participating in the ceremony. After we have seen and heard the person make the pledge they are confirmed as an Australian citizen.
“Although the ceremony will look a little different this time around, it remains an important step in each new citizen’s life and we are pleased to be able to ensure that can happen.”