New Australian Citizenship educational resource kit

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The Australian Government has introduced a new educational resource kit on citizenship to enable teachers to provide more detailed lessons on Australian citizenship and civics to upper primary and lower secondary school students.

It is hoped that this will give school children in Australia a greater understanding of their civic responsibilities and what means to be an Australian citizen.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans had the following to say about the resource book I am Australian: Exploring Australian Citizenship:

'Knowledge of Australian citizenship and civic responsibilities is important for all Australians, no matter how they became citizens,' Senator Evans said.

'This will be a valuable learning tool for all students, not only for those who have come here from other countries, but also for those who have lived all their lives in Australia.

'It will also help students appreciate the contribution made to Australia by people from diverse backgrounds, whose journey to Australia was completed when they became citizens.'

Some of the main features of the Australian citizenship resource book are as follows:

  • There are classroom activities which are linked to the curricula of each state and territory.
  • The activities relate to Australia's democratic beliefs,
  • It contains Australian citizen case studies.
  • What it means to be an Australian citizen.

Since 1949 when the first citizenship ceremony took place over four million people from 200 Countries have become Australian citizens. This year is the 60th anniversary of Australian citizenship.

Senator Evans launched the new school resource book with Hindmarsh MP Steve Georganas at the Plympton Primary School in Adelaide where the minister conducted a citizenship ceremony. Zhenguo (Ken) Yang, 43, and his son Pengyu (Kevin), 11 who is a student at the school emigrated to Australia from China in 2005. Mr Yang is a network engineer; His wife Qihong (Linda) Ling is studying nursing. The family came to Australia for better career and educational opportunities.

'I congratulate Mr Yang and his son Kevin on their decision to become Australian citizens,' Mr Georganas said.

'Citizenship represents a commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises our sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or have decided to make our home.'