Australia celebrates Constitution day with citizenship ceremonies

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On 9 July 170 people from more than 40 countries became Australian citizens in ceremonies across the country.

"On the occasion that marks Australia's creation as a nation, it is fitting to celebrate citizenship, the glue that holds our culturally diverse population together," Department of Immigration and Citizenship Secretary Andrew Metcalfe said.

"Constitution Day ceremonies will give the newest citizens of our nation an opportunity to acknowledge that they understand and respect what it means to be an Australian citizen.

"Constitution Day is an initiative of the National Archives of Australia. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is delighted to work in partnership with the Archives to promote this special day for the third time."

In the last sixty years more than four million people have chosen to become Australian citizens.

"This year is the 60th anniversary of Australian citizenship, making 2009 an opportunity for us to reflect on the changes that have shaped our nation in the past six decades, and a chance for us to understand the role that citizenship plays in building a strong and unified Australia," Mr Metcalfe said.

Constitution Day citizenship ceremonies were held in every state and territory across Australia.

The Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC will preside over the national capital's main ceremony:

  • Among the 27 people who will become Australian citizens is South African-born former Wallaby and Brumby Clyde Rathbone.
  • In South Australia, USA-born National Basketball League forward Adam Ballinger, of the Adelaide 36ers, is one of 10 people who will become citizens at a ceremony at the Migration Museum.