The Australian citizenship affirmation should not be confused with the old terminology for pledge 1 &2 which used to be known as the Oath and Affirmation.
The affirmation must be led by an Australian citizen. This can be anyone in your community, perhaps a leader in your community e.g. an inspiring citizen (your Local Hero finalist or winner), your Australia Day ambassador, a member of your junior council, school president or a parliamentarian.While the affirmation should be led by a citizen, you don’t have to be a citizen to participate. People who are not yet Australian citizens are welcome to join in at the second line.
The first affirmation ceremony was held at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony in Galston Park, Sydney.
As I mentioned earlier, affirmation ceremonies can be incorporated into any event. I’d like to show you another short clip that shows just one example of how an affirmation can be used outside of a citizenship ceremony. As you can see in this clip, the affirmation is more than statement. It is a reminder of who we are and a challenge to make us think about what makes us Australian and our values as a community. The national curriculum for schools now includes civics and citizenship education so our students are learning some of this at school. What better way for students to consolidate this learning than by hosting or participating in an affirmation ceremony?The affirmation is a declaration for some, particularly those who have never made a statement about their commitment to this country, but for others it is confirmation or reconfirmation that they belong. Australian citizenship is unifying force and the affirmation which focuses our attention on being an Australian citizen, generates a sense of pride and belonging.
To finish up, I’d like to lead you all in a short affirmation ceremony. All those who wish to participate, please stand and repeat after me..Questions?
Citizenship and Affirmation
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What is the Australian citizenship affirmation?• The Australian citizenship affirmation is a way for all of usto reaffirm our commitment to Australia. It is a statementof pride in being an Australian citizen.• The words of the affirmation are based on the Pledge ofCommitment made by new citizens at citizenshipceremonies. The affirmation reads:As an Australian citizen,I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people,Whose democratic beliefs I shareWhose rights and liberties I respect,And whose laws I uphold and obeyMaking a statement
What is an affirmation ceremony?• An affirmation ceremony is an opportunity for allAustralians, whether by birth or by choice, to publiclyaffirm our loyalty and commitment to Australia and itspeople by making the affirmation.• Participation in an affirmation ceremony is voluntary.Affirmation ceremonies have no legal effect.• The affirmation must be led by an Australian citizen.• People who are not Australian citizens are welcome to joinin at the second line.Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
Why were affirmation ceremonies introduced?• Many Australians, particularly those born in Australia,wanted an opportunity to make a pledge to Australia andits people in a similar way to new citizens at citizenshipceremonies.• Affirmation ceremonies were introduced in 1999 to markthe 50th anniversary of Australian citizenship.• Affirmation ceremonies can easily be incorporated intocitizenship ceremonies or other events.Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
The affirmation on Australia Day• Australia Day is a special day for all Australians to celebratewhat we love about Australia.• Australia Day each year also sees the largest number ofnew citizens making the Pledge of Commitment atcitizenship ceremonies all around the nation.• On Australia Day 2013 around 17000 people from 145countries became citizens at 430 special citizenshipceremonies around the country.Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
Including the affirmation in a citizenship ceremony• Incorporating an affirmation ceremony gives everyonepresent a chance to participate and share in the occasion.• Guidelines for incorporating an affirmation ceremony into acitizenship ceremony are set out in the AustralianCitizenship Ceremonies Code. An electronic copy of theCode can be found on the Australian citizenship websitewww.citizenship.gov.auAustralian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
The affirmation on Australia Day• Australia Day is the perfect opportunity for all Australians –new and old – to affirm their loyalty and commitment toAustralia.• Existing citizens can express their national pride andcelebrate being Australian by making the Australiancitizenship affirmation.Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
Why host an affirmation ceremony?Affirmation ceremonies:• Enhance awareness of Australian citizenship• Promote community involvement and participation• Help people feel they belong to their community• Help build pride in Australians about their citizenshipAustralian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
Partnership with NADC• As part of the government’s ongoing promotion of Australiancitizenship and the affirmation, we have worked with theNADC since 2004 to promote the Australian citizenshipaffirmation.• In 2009 the affirmation website was launched to encourageevent organisers to incorporate the affirmation into theirAustralia Day celebrations.• See www.australianaffirmation.org.auAustralian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
Australian citizenship affirmation websiteAustralian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
More information• Australia Day branded affirmation cards for your AustraliaDay affirmation ceremonies can be ordered from theaffirmation website www.australianaffirmation.org.au• Generic affirmation products can be ordered throughoutthe year from the Australian citizenship websitewww.citizenship.gov.au• More information on the Australian citizenship affirmationis available on the affirmation website or the Australiancitizenship website.Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies
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