Constitution Day 9 July

Citizenship ceremonies mark Constitution Day 2009

Clyde Rathbone, Carrie-Anne Rathbone, Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce

Clyde Rathbone and his wife Carrie-Ann Rathbone with the Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce.Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

On the 9th of July 2009, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC the Governor-General of Australia presided over a citizenship ceremony held at Government House in Canberra. The ceremony was part of a number of ceremonies and events held across the nation in collaboration with the National Archives of Australia for Constitution Day.

Twenty-seven conferees from countries such as Sudan, Poland, Philippines, and Tonga, became Australian citizens. Joining them as new citizens were Clyde Rathbone, an Australian Rugby Union player originally from South Africa, and his wife, Carrie-Ann Rathbone.

Mr Rathbone and his wife have been meaning to become citizens for some time and they are proud to have done so. 'My wife and I really feel Australian now, we just feel part of the furniture of this place and its home so it seemed like a natural progression,' he said. 'I think you feel part of something bigger than yourself and you feel part of something quite special.'

This year we also celebrate the 60th anniversary Australian citizenship. For the 60th anniversary of Australian citizenship and Constitution Day, the Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce reflected on how citizenship redefined what it means to be belong here and who we are. 'Those six decades fill up most of my life, and I must tell you that I cannot imagine Australia without our diversity of origin, accent, palate and Soul' she said.

Conferees with Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce.

The conferees of the Constitution Day ceremony at Government House, pictured with the Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce. Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Last modified Thursday 13 February 2014