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Tasmania welcomes 79 new citizens

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Migration media release 5/99 Page 1 o f jr \

Philip R u d d o c k M R Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation

Tasmania welcomes 79 new citizens MPS 5/99

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, announced that Tasmania will gain 79 new citizens at citizenship ceremonies across the state

on Australia Day.

Mr Ruddock said 33 people will become Australian citizens at a ceremony in the Albert Hall in Launceston as part of a range of activities including a "Great Australia Day Debate".

Other ceremonies will be held at the Bumie Civic Centre, Rooke St Mall in Devenport, The Boardwalk at Bellerive and Sandy Bay Regatta Grounds in Hobart.

Mr Ruddock said the Australia Day ceremonies marked the beginning of a year of events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Australian citizenship.

"I am delighted with the support shown to date for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Australian citizenship, including the issue of a commemorative stamp by Australia Post and the inclusion by more than 200 local councils of the 50th anniversary theme in

local activities.

"It is not widely recognised that although Australia will soon be celebrating the centenary of its Federation, Australian citizenship is today only 50 years old. Before 26 January 1949 we were all British subjects.

"Today, we are proud of our accomplishments as a nation, and of our citizenship.

"Australian citizenship involves both privileges and responsibilities. The beneficiaries of this commitment are not just those acquiring citizenship, but the Australian community at large."

Interest in acquiring Australian Citizenship continues to be high, with some 258,000 calls registered to the national citizenship telephone service in 1998.

In 1997-98, some 112,000 people from 140 different countries became Australian citizens.

25 January 1999 Media inquiries: Susan Sare 0407 415 797 17/03/1999