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Australian-style 'Woolshed' celebrations for newest Aussie citizens.



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The Hon Gary Hardgrave Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Media Release H162/2004 -

26 August 2004

Australian-Style 'Woolshed' Celebrations for Newest Aussie Citizens

Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Gary Hardgrave, will tonight confer citizenship on nearly 200 people in Brisbane in a uniquely Australian ceremony.

The event will commence at 7.00 pm at the Australian Woolshed located at 148 Samford Road in Ferny Hills and is being held in the lead up to Australian Citizenship Day, on September 17.

One hundred and forty-one adults and 55 children will become citizens at a ceremony at the Woolshed which will feature koalas, Indigenous dancers and a bush band.

Mr Hardgrave said people from more than 35 countries, including Afghanistan, New Zealand and Croatia, will participate in tonight's ceremony.

Among those becoming citizens at the special ceremony is the Botha Family from South Africa, who arrived in 2002.

'We have decided to take out citizenship as a family because we are so proud of the country we are living in,' Mrs Botha said.

Mr Hardgrave said the Botha Family and the others taking part tonight should act as inspiration to the 900,000 people living in Australia who are residentially eligible to take out Australian citizenship but are yet to do so.

In Queensland there are 168,200 people currently eligible to take out citizenship but have yet to join the Australian family.

'Choosing to become a citizen is a commitment to Australia, a country that celebrates its diversity and success, and accepts people from all over the world,' Mr Hardgrave said.

'By making the citizenship pledge the new citizens are acknowledging the values which unite Australians as a community and are celebrating what it means to be Australian.

'I urge everyone who is eligible, to make the pledge and officially become an Australian,' Mr Hardgrave said.

Citizenship information is available at www.citizenship.gov.au or from the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880.

Media contact: Anthony Moate 0402 415 167