Australia welcomes more than 16,000 new citizens on Australia Day
Australia, January 28: Australia welcomed nearly 16,500 new citizens from different countries on Australia Day celebrations held on 26th January 2010 throughout the nation.
At 350 citizenship ceremonies held on the national day across different cities in Australia, a record number of people from 144 nations took part in the Australian citizenship pledge.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd awarded Australian citizenship to nearly 77 people hailing from 23 nations. The ceremony was held in Sydney, Canberra.
In Victoria, more than 3000 people were conferred Australian citizenship and nearly 3500 people took pledge as new citizens of Australia at nearly 100 ceremonies across the state of New South Wales, including Tamworth, Broken Hill, Byron Bay and several other places.
Queensland welcomed 3500 people to become citizens of Australia in around 60 ceremonies held in the state. About 300 new citizens participated in the pledge to become citizens of Australia at 15 ceremonies held in Tasmania.
Around 120 people from nearly 34 nations were conferred citizenship at ceremonies held in Darwin in the Northern Territory. About 950 people became citizens of Australia in a citizenship ceremony held at Adelaide Oval, South Australia.
Meanwhile, the biggest ceremony was held in Wanneroo, Western Australia where nearly 2,600 people were conferred citizenship. The ceremony was attended by Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
Senator Evans said it is a special day in the history of Australia as the nation has become enriched by the different cultures of nearly 16,500 people coming from nearly 200 nations who have selected Australia as their new home.
While referring to the commitment by the new citizens in their pledge, the Senator said that getting an Australian citizenship is an exciting step. He added that people who have become new Australian Citizens must take time to think about the pledge and to remain committed to their new country, Australia.
He welcomed all the new citizens and invited them to join in the celebrations of the country on this special day.