TOGETHER LET'S CELEBRATE OUR NATIONAL DAY
Australia Day, Thursday 26 January 2012, is a day for all Australians to come together and celebrate what makes our country great.
Research* shows that 87% of Australians celebrate Australia Day in some way on 26 January, and over 5 million Australians attend organised public events around the country.
National Australia Day Council CEO Warren Pearson said that he’s delighted that so many Australians are proud to celebrate all the great things about being Australian.
“The research also shows that 93% of Australians consider Australia Day our most important national celebration, which demonstrates how proud we are of this diverse land we share,” Mr Pearson said.
“We are a multicultural country, with so many Australians having history and heritage from countries across the world. In our diversity, there are still shared values that bind us together as Australians, no matter where we are from,” Mr Pearson said.
“Australia Day gives us the opportunity to come together to celebrate these shared values of freedom, democracy and our sense of a fair go.”
This Australia Day, the National Australia Day Council is encouraging everyone to be part of the celebrations and to also consider what it is you think makes Australia a great place to live.
“There are thousands of organised events happening across Australia, from in big city centres to the smallest of our regional communities. To get involved in what’s happening in your local area, find all the details at www.australiaday.org.au,” Mr Pearson said.
For more information about Australia Day and all the events happening around the nation, visit www.australiaday.org.au/events.aspx
MORE CHOOSING TO AFFIRM THEIR COMMITMENT TO AUSTRALIA ON AUSTRALIA DAY
The National Australia Day Council reports an increase in the number of councils holding Australian Citizenship Affirmation ceremonies as part of Australia Day celebrations, with more than 100 councils planning to include an Australian Citizenship Affirmation ceremony on 26 January, 2012.
The Australian Citizenship Affirmation is based on the pledge of commitment made by new Australian citizens at Citizenship ceremonies, and enables all Australians to publicly voice their commitment to Australia.
The Australian Citizenship Affirmation reads:
As an Australian citizen,
I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people,
Whose democratic believes I share,
Whose rights and liberties I respect,
And whose laws I uphold and obey.
Warren Pearson, Chief Executive, National Australia Day Council says the Affirmation gives everyone the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the values we hold up as Australians and to express their pride in being an Australian citizen.
“Australia Day is the day we celebrate what's great about our nation, to remember why we are privileged to live in this great land and to give thanks for that,” said Mr Pearson.
"While thousands of people become new Australians citizens on Australia Day, many people feel they want to share in the pride of citizenship which these ceremonies generate.
"The Affirmation gives us an opportunity on Australia Day to celebrate the common bond which unites us all - Australian citizenship. Taking part in the Affirmation is completely voluntary and everyone is welcome to join in.
“Reciting the Affirmation gives everyone the opportunity to stand up and express their pride in being Australian and to articulate our common commitment to our country, no matter what our personal reasons are for being a proud Australian."
In more than 100 local council areas around the country, people attending Australia Day events will have the opportunity to take part in Affirmation ceremonies.
In Marion, South Australia, the Affirmation has become a key part of annual Australia Day events and more than 300 people are expected to take part this year.
Felicity-Ann Lewis, Mayor of Marion, says the inclusion of the Australian Citizenship Affirmation in the area's Australia Day celebrations has added atmosphere at the events.
“We have included the Australian Citizenship Affirmation for some years now as it embraces the spirit of Citizenship, giving everyone, not just those becoming citizens on the day, a feeling of inclusion and pride on the day,” said Ms Lewis.
“The act of everyone standing to say the Affirmation out loud adds a great sense of occasion to the event and enables everyone to feel part of the experience.”
Local councils and community groups interested in holding Affirmation ceremonies can find out more, order cards featuring the Affirmation or download the card from www.australianaffirmation.com.au.
Some of the many local councils conducting an Affirmation Ceremony on Australia Day are listed in the media release below.