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Australian Open Tennis Championships to host citizenship ceremony.

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Media Release

Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation



Australian Open tennis championships 

to host citizenship ceremony


MPS 7/99

The Minister for Immigration and M ulticultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, will attend a special citizenship ceremony for 15 people at the Australian Open Tennis Championship in Melbourne on Australia Day.

Mr Ruddock said that more than 1,100 people will become citizens in ceremonies throughout Victoria on Australia Day, marking the start of a year of activities to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Australian citizenship in 1999.

Ceremonies in Victoria will include:

  • a ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall at 12.45pm sharp for 66 new citizens, fea turing entertainment by the Victorian Children's State Choir; and
  • a ceremony at South Kingsville Community Centre for 75 people at 10am, including a bush band and light lunch featuring multicultural cuisine;
  • a ceremony at the Richmond Town Hall for 70 pe ople at 10.45am, including municipal Australia Day awards and lunch.

"I am pleased with the support shown to date for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Australian citizenship, such as the issue of a commemorative stamp by Australia Post and the i nclusion by more than 200 local councils of the 50th anniversary theme in local activities, Mr Ruddock said.

"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

* Editor's Note: The citizenship ceremony at the Australian Open tennis championships will begin after the afternoon session of play.