Citizenship Ceremonies to return to the City of Yarra

Friday 16 December 2022

Audience waving Australian flags at a citizenship ceremony

Yarra City Council has celebrated the decision by the Federal Government to reinstate Council’s right to hold citizenship ceremonies.

Council was stripped of its power to hold citizenship ceremonies by the Turnbull Government in 2017, after Council unanimously voted to cease holding Citizenship Ceremonies on January 26, acknowledging the trauma this day caused for many in the Aboriginal community.

Yarra Mayor Cr Claudia Nguyen welcomed the decision, saying Council had been advocating strongly since the election of the new Federal Government for the decision to be overturned.

“The decision by the former Government to remove Yarra’s ability to hold citizenship ceremonies unfairly punished local residents and our community, in particular and most importantly, our newest citizens,” she said. 

“Coming from a migrant family, I understand the significance of citizenship ceremonies and what they mean for our multicultural community,” Mayor Nguyen said.

“I have had many family members undertake citizenship ceremonies at Richmond Town Hall and Collingwood Town Hall prior to 2017 and these memorable family occasions still remain significant today.”

“Yarra is a proud culturally diverse community, with almost 30 per cent of our residents born overseas. It is our strong belief that our multiculturalism is central to what makes our city a vibrant place to live, work and visit. At Yarra we work hard to make sure that our City is a place where all people feel welcome regardless of their race, culture, religion or language.

“We are delighted to once again be able to host citizenship ceremonies in the City of Yarra. It is the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri, and a place of special significance for the broader Aboriginal community. For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community January 26 is a day of mourning, pain and disconnection.”

Yarra will comply with the amended Australian Citizenship Code to hold citizenship ceremonies three days either side of January 26. 


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