Surf Coast Shire welcomed 13 new citizens at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony held today, livestreamed for all to watch together online.
The new citizens are from 6 countries – France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa and Chile.
Surf Coast Shire Mayor Cr Libby Stapleton said the ceremony was an opportunity for all Australians, whether they are citizens by birth or by choice, to take time to reflect, respect and celebrate—we reflect on our history, its highs and lows—we respect the stories of all our people— and we celebrate our nation, its achievements and most of all, its people.
“All Australians are encouraged to celebrate our national day and to share what Australian citizenship means to them.”
“There is no greater privilege than our citizenship. It’s a life-long commitment to Australia’s shared values, including respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, the rule of law and democracy, and equality of opportunity for all people,” Mayor Stapleton said.
“Australian citizenship ceremonies are an important part of our nation’s celebrations and hold special significance for those becoming citizens and the broader Australian community.”
“Traditionally, more people become citizens on Australia Day than any other day of the year.”
Fewer citizenship ceremonies than usual took place in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even so, more than 12,000 people received citizenship at the many ceremonies being hosted by local councils across the country on Australia Day.
“Each year we are privileged to welcome new Australians to our growing community as part of Australia Day celebrations,” said Mayor Stapleton. “I was also keen to reflect that Australia Day is not a time for celebration for all and for the first time we held a moment’s silence during our event as a mark of respect for those who may feel pain on this day, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.”