Citizenship ceremonies

Darebin can once again support and celebrate our new citizens on one of the most important days of their lives.

Darebin is a proudly diverse community and a Welcoming City, and we’re excited we can once again celebrate this through hosting citizenship ceremonies, with the first to be held on Friday 14 April 2023.

Since the announcement in December 2022, we have consulted with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee to ensure our citizenship ceremonies honour and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and create an opportunity for learning and understanding for our new citizens.

All citizenship ceremonies are managed by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. While we host citizenship ceremonies, you will receive your invitation from the Department of Home Affairs. We play no role in the approvals, waitlists or allocations of ceremonies. You can find out more on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Becoming an Australian Citizen

How do I apply to become an Australian citizen?

You can find out more about this on the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you would like to enquire about becoming an Australian citizen or about your status on the waiting list, please contact the Department of Home Affairs on 131 881.

We host citizenship ceremonies, but we are not responsible for allocating candidates to ceremony dates. This is done by the Department of Home Affairs.

Citizenship ceremonies

Upcoming Dates

We will welcome approximately 180 new citizens on Friday 14 April 2023 who will bring their experience and culture to our vibrant City. This will be followed by a further 180 new citizens on Wednesday 19 April 2023.

We will continue to host citizenship ceremonies every six weeks with more dates to be announced soon.

How will I be notified of when my citizenship ceremony is?

When your application for Australian citizenship is approved, you will receive a letter from the Department of Home Affairs with the date and location of your citizenship ceremony. Generally, your citizenship ceremony will be held at your local Council within 6 months from the time your application is approved, although waiting times can vary. You must attend the citizenship ceremony as the final phase of being granted Australian citizenship.

What happens at a citizenship ceremony?

At the citizenship ceremony you are required to make a pledge of commitment to Australia and its laws. The pledge you say will be the one you chose on your application form. You are then presented with a Certificate of Australian Citizenship, which formally represents your Australian citizenship.

How will Darebin’s citizenship ceremonies be respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities?

Each citizenship ceremony will start with a traditional Welcome to Country performed by a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder. The order of proceedings will include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speaker who will share their personal story and reflections. A plant native to the area will be gifted to each new citizen by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder in attendance on the day.

What do I need to bring?

To obtain citizenship on the day, you must bring:

  • Your letter of invitation sent to you by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Photographic identification (such as your passport or driver's licence)

If you are unable to provide photographic identification you will need to bring at least 3 different documents which contain your name, address, and/or signature. At least 2 of these must be on the identification you produce (such as credit card, bills for utilities, or bank statements).

Who attends?

The Mayor of Darebin presides over citizenship ceremonies. Politicians who represent Darebin, both federal and state, are also invited.

Candidates will receive their invitation to attend from the Department of Home Affairs. Due to capacity of the venue and to minimise COVID risk to our community, currently only 1 guest per candidate may attend the ceremonies.

If you are receiving your citizenship, and any of your family members are under 16 years old and are also receiving their citizenship, then they aren’t required to attend. You will be able to take their certificate on their behalf.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms we ask that you do not attend the ceremony and inform the Department of Home Affairs, they can then arrange an alternate date. You can find the contact details for this on the Department of Home Affairs website.

How long do citizenship ceremonies take?

Ceremonies take about 90 minutes. Doors open for registration 45 minutes before the ceremony starts.

What is the dress code?

We recommend smart casual for citizenship ceremonies. You’re also welcome to wear clothing that celebrates your culture and heritage.

Can I now enrol to vote?

All new citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to enrol to vote. Enrolment allows new citizens to vote at Commonwealth, state and local council elections.

Voting at Commonwealth, state and local council elections is compulsory and there are fines for not voting without a valid excuse. You can find out more information on the Australian Electoral Commission website.

January 26

Will Darebin now hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26?

No. In 2017, Darebin resolved to no longer hold citizenship ceremonies on 26 January, acknowledging that this day marks the beginning of the British invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands and the oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Local councils are not required to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26. We will hold a ceremony either three days before, or three days after January 26, as is mandated by the Federal Government. The dates of our January 2024 Citizenship ceremonies will be published on our website once confirmed.

Find out more about our decision on 26 January.