Australian Citizenship symbolises our unity as a nation and the ceremony is where you make the Australian citizenship pledge. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have decided to make our home.
Choosing to become an Australian citizen is a very important commitment to make and a significant part of Australia’s future. Forbes Shire Council places high importance on Australian Citizenship and hosts several ceremonies throughout the year. We will usually wait until several residents are ready to become Citizens before we schedule a ceremony so please be patient - it may take up to six months from approval of your citizenship before your ceremony is scheduled.
Criteria for eligibility are that you:
- are a permanent resident; and
- have lived in Australia for two or more years.
Applying for Citizenship
The role of Local Government is to confer Australian Citizenship once the application is approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. We receive certificates from the Department prior to the ceremony.
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies
Citizenship ceremonies are warm, friendly events where you celebrate becoming an Australian citizen. You will receive a letter from Council inviting you to attend your Citizenship Ceremony, detailing the time, date and location for your ceremony. You might want to invite your family and friends to be part of this important step you are taking, and to celebrate your citizenship with you.
What happens on the day
You should allow approximately 1 hour for a citizenship ceremony. Arrive about 10 minutes before the ceremony so you can register and find your seat. A Council Officer will ask you to show them Photo ID (passport, driver’s license, proof of age card etc) so that they can confirm your identity.
You will be asked to complete a Photography Consent Form and given a copy of the Pledge you selected on your application.
After you are seated, there will be:
- a formal introduction
- speeches, including a welcome message from the Mayor
- an address to participants
- the pledge
- National Anthem
The Mayor will ask you to repeat the Australian citizenship pledge out loud. You will become an Australian citizen after you make the pledge.
You will say the version of pledge that you chose on your application.
The ceremony itself will take approximately 30 minutes, after which time you and your guests will be invited to join the Mayor and other Council Officials for light refreshments.
After you have made the pledge, you should receive your citizenship certificate. If your certificate is not ready at the ceremony, we will post it to you. You will still become a citizen when you make the pledge. Your citizenship certificate is issued in the name you gave on your application form. This was your legal name at the time your citizenship was approved. Your citizenship certificate is an important legal document. You will need it when you apply for an Australian passport. You may need it to apply for a job or join the Australian Defence Force.
It is an offence to deface or alter your citizenship certificate by:
- changing any details on it
- tell us if you lose your certificate, or it is stolen.
Forbes Shire Council may take photographs and film the ceremony. Media may attend too. If we photograph you for promotional purposes, we will ask you for permission to use the images. Your family and friends can take photographs of you during and after the ceremony. They must not disrupt other participants and their guests.
Enrolling to vote in elections
At the ceremony, you can enrol to vote in our compulsory elections.
- complete an enrolment form at the ceremony, or
- take it home to complete later