Darebin is a proudly diverse community and a Welcoming City. We’re excited we can once again celebrate this through hosting citizenship ceremonies.
Since the announcement of this change 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’s Department of Home Affairs. We play no role in the approvals, waitlists or allocations of ceremonies. We host citizenship ceremonies but we are not responsible for allocating candidates to ceremony dates. You will receive your invitation for a specific date from the Department of Home Affairs.
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.
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How will I be notified of the date of my citizenship ceremony?
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. Waiting times can vary. You must attend the citizenship ceremony. This is 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. This 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?
You will not be able to participate in the ceremony and obtain citizenship on the day if you are not able to produce the appropriate identification as follows:
- 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 your passport or driver's licence you will need to bring at least 3 different documents which contain your name, address, and signature. These can be credit card statements, bills for utilities, or bank statements.
All your documents must be officially translated into English.
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-19 risk to our community, currently only 1 guest per candidate may attend the ceremonies. Children and dependants of candidates are welcome to attend and do not count as guests.
If any of your family members under 16 years old are also receiving their citizenship on the same day as you, 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. You need to inform the Department of Home Affairs so they can 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 should I wear?
We recommend smart casual dress code for citizenship ceremonies. Dress code is a set of rules about what clothes may be worn on the day. 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 about how to enrol and vote on the Australian Electoral Commission website.
Will Darebin now hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26?
No. In 2017, Darebin resolved to no longer hold citizenship ceremonies on 26 January. This is an acknowledgment 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 they are confirmed.
Find out more about our decision on 26 January.