Celebrating citizenship on Australia Day

Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January each year. This day is an opportunity for us to think about the importance and value of being Australian. We celebrate what we have achieved as a nation together and recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future.

Citizenship ceremonies are an important part of Australia Day celebrations. They are often led by officials including the Governor-General, Prime Minister, government representatives or other prominent Australian citizens. Since the first Australian citizenship ceremony in 1949, more than four million people have chosen to become Australian citizens.

Australia Day is also an opportunity for all Australians to affirm their commitment to Australia by taking part in an Australian citizenship affirmation ceremony. These ceremonies may be part of a citizenship ceremony or other community function.

Find out about applying for Australian citizenship.

Australia Day 2013

Australia Day celebrations in 2013 saw about 17 000 people from 145 countries become Australian citizens across the nation.

Governor General Quentin Bryce AC CVO delivering a speech to the new citizens at the 2013 Australia Day citizenship ceremony.

Governor General Quentin Bryce AC CVO delivering a speech to the new citizens at the 2013 Australia Day citizenship ceremony on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. Photo not to be used or replaced or reproduced without the permission of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


Along the banks of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the special ceremony was televised live on the ABC. The Governor General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, led the new citizens and Australia Day crowd in a moving Australian citizenship affirmation ceremony.

Australian of the Year Awards

Image of all four winners of the 2013 Australian of the Year awards are pictured outside Parliament House with their trophies.

2013 Australian of the Year Award recipients Professor Ian Maddocks AM (right), Ita Buttrose AO OBE (second right), Akram Azimi (second left) and Shane Phillips (left). Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the National Australia Day Council.


As part of the national Australia Day celebrations, the Prime Minister announces the recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards. Each year we recognise the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia.

The department proudly sponsors the Local Hero Award which recognises the contributions of citizens in their local communities.

National Australia Day Council

Adam Gilchrist, Chair of the National Australia Day Council (NADC) congratulating a new citizen.

Adam Gilchrist, Chair of the National Australia Day Council (NADC) congratulating a new citizen at the Australia Day Citizenship ceremony. Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the NADC.


The department works in partnership with the National Australia Day Council (NADC) to encourage everyone to celebrate what’s great about Australia and reflect on what it means to be an Australian citizen.

Last reviewed Thursday 13 February 2014

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