While 26 January resonates with the Indian Republic Day for many overseas Indians, it also holds a special meaning for Indians in Australia.
As many as 13,700 migrants in Australia, including Indians, will receive their citizenship on the Australia Day – 26 January. But it is not just new citizens that will take pride in their country on this day.
Thousands of Australians will celebrate their citizenship on Australia Day by taking part in an Australian citizenship affirmation ceremony (different to citizenship ceremony for new citizens).
More than 125 local councils across the nation are including the affirmation ceremonies as part of their Australia Day celebrations.
The ceremonies, introduced in 1999 as an opportunity for existing citizens to express their pride and loyalty to the nation, involve a recitation of an affirmation based on the Australian citizenship pledge, which is made by new citizens at their citizenship ceremonies.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said the popularity of affirmation ceremonies continues to grow with more and more existing Australian citizens affirming their commitment to Australia at stand-alone events as well as at citizenship ceremonies.
“We have seen a growing trend of councils, aged care facilities, community organisations and schools conducting affirmation ceremonies on special occasions such as Australia Day,” a departmental spokesman said.
“It’s also the perfect occasion for all Australians – whether citizens by birth or by choice – to express their commitment to the nation and each other through participating in an affirmation ceremony.
“Through citizenship and affirmation ceremonies, we reflect on the freedoms, responsibilities and privileges that go hand-in-hand with being an Australian.
For more information visit www.australianaffirmation.org.au