Right to hold citizenship ceremonies returned

Published on 16 December 2022

Council building

Darebin welcomes the news we will again be able to host citizenship ceremonies, enabling us to support and celebrate our new citizens.

Darebin City Council welcomes the news today that we will again be able to host citizenship ceremonies, enabling us to support and celebrate our new citizens on one of the most important days of their lives.

As such a proudly diverse community and a Welcoming City, the ability to celebrate this through holding citizenship ceremonies, while still honouring and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, is something we have missed.

In 2017, Darebin made a resolution to not hold citizenship ceremonies on 26 January. This resolution acknowledges that this day marks the beginning of the British invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands and oppression of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is therefore not an appropriate date for an inclusive national celebration.

Following this decision, the Federal Government revoked Council’s right to preside over citizenship ceremonies.

Today, this decision has been revoked and ceremonies can once again be held.

Darebin Mayor Julie Williams said this decision marks an important change for the local community.

“This important decision means we can celebrate the full diversity of our vibrant community,” Cr Williams said.

“I’m thrilled by the decision following our advocacy to the federal government”.

In June 2022, Councillors made a unanimous decision to commence advocacy to the new Federal Government to hold citizenship ceremonies in a positive and timely way on dates other than 26 January.

It made a resolution to work with the Federal Government through the Minister for Indigenous Australians, and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs to enable Council to fulfil its obligations in conferring citizenship on their residents on days other than the 26 January.

Councillors also agreed to seek involvement from the Traditional Owners and the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee in the formation and delivery of any future citizenship ceremonies.

Darebin City Council will keep the community up-to-date about the possibilities this brings for us.

Citizenship ceremonies

Information about how to apply for Australian citizenship and dates of upcoming ceremonies

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