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Australia's newest citizens sail into the future.



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John Cobb MP Australian Government Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Centre

Australia’s Newest Citizens Sail into the Future

16 September 2005

Twenty three Tasmanians will celebrate Citizenship Day tomorrow when they are conferred citizenship on board the MV Cartela as it sails the Derwent River.

The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, John Cobb, congratulated the new conferees, saying citizenship was a unifying force in our culturally diverse society.

The new citizens, of all ages, have come from the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Sudan, and Syria.

‘This is the first time in recent history that an Australian Citizenship ceremony has been held on the Derwent River, so it is a new experience for us as well as the conferees,’ said Mr Cobb.

‘The number of Tasmanians taking up Australian citizenship has risen in the last few years, with more than 1000 Tasmanians becoming citizens over the past year, which is a record,’ Mr Cobb said.

Other ceremonies taking place in Tasmania organised by Hobart and Launceston City Councils will result in over 100 conferees taking up citizenship during Citizenship Day celebrations.

Two hundred Scouts will also hold an affirmation ceremony in Clarence, with the Clarence Council Mayor, Cathy

Edwards, presiding.

‘Australian Citizenship represents our shared values - acceptance, equality, freedom of speech and religion, the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, our constitution and English as the national language,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘Australia Citizenship Day, now in its fifth year, is emerging as a key date on the national calendar for citizenship and affirmation ceremonies.

‘I would also encourage people who are already Australian citizens to take part in the national Citizenship Day celebrations by participating in an affirmation ceremony,’ Mr Cobb said.

For more information on Australian citizenship contact the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 or visit www.citizenship.gov.au

The historic citizenship ceremony will be held in Hobart aboard the MV Cartela on 19 September at 10am. It will be followed by entertainment and refreshments, and a chance to enjoy the river views.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Kelly - 0417 862 924