What makes you proud?

Becoming an Australian Citizen

Feeling Proud
Feeling Proud

I had the great pleasure of attending an Australian Citizenship ceremony in Canberra recently – and I have to tell you, the atmosphere was something else.

There were about 100 people from 26 different countries pledging their allegiance to Australia with smiles on their faces and pride in the eyes. Everyone was smartly dressed with children in gorgeous outfits and on their best behaviour, there was a real sense of awe palpable in the room. The crowd of guests were made up of friends and family of the recipients, all with welcoming happy smiles on their faces. Everyone was feeling happy!

The chorus of the song by The Seekers – I am, you are, we are Australian – came to mind as I sat in the crowd.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian”

I felt honoured to witness this celebration.

The Ceremony

From the Aboriginal performers, Duncan and his daughter, who not only entertained the crowd but also educated and linked directly to the ceremony; to the delightful look on everyone’s faces when their name was called out and they received their certificate to huge applause; to the rousing rendition of the National Anthem at the conclusion; and the presence of the Queen (even if she was on a pull up banner and looking a tad younger than in real life).

Interestingly, the Albert Hall was the same location as the first ever Australian Citizenship ceremony in Canberra in 1949 – prior to that date, everyone was considered a British citizen.

The status of Australian nationality or Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 (in 1973 renamed the Australian Citizenship Act 1948), which came into force on 26 January 1949. The process of acquiring citizenship by application is referred to as “naturalisation”.

The Pledge of Commitment to Australia 

The words of the Pledge of Commitment to Australia are as follows – there are two choices, either using the words ‘under God’ or not. I don’t think I was ever aware of the wording before.

From this time forward, under God,

I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,

whose democratic beliefs I share,

whose rights and liberties I respect, and

whose laws I will uphold and obey.

The process to become an Australian citizen is quite lengthy, frustrating and costly but all who took the pledge were thrilled to have been through the process – and why wouldn’t they be happy? It’s a great country!

Yes there are negatives but that’s the case in every country in the world – and this post isn’t about being negative.  Just the opposite in fact!

What did I learn?

I learnt a few things. The fact that Australian citizenship was only recognised in 1949 and that in Canberra, 1 in 4 people have been born overseas.  Looking around the room we agreed there would have been some very interesting stories to tell. Maybe some relief too, now everyone was through the process and finally considered citizens of Australia.

I also learnt that back in 1970, when my mother became an Australian citizen, it was a very different affair – she received her certificate in the mail with a simple letter of congratulations. Definitely no big welcoming ceremony for her.  I feel sorry for her being cheated on such a happy experience.

I would recommend everyone to attend such a ceremony every now and again – if only to stop us from becoming jaded in this crazy world for a short time.

After the ceremony I found myself congratulating perfect strangers and wishing them well.  I smiled a lot. Everyone did!

I left the ceremony feeling proud of Australia.  Very proud.

Especially as it was my son-in-law who became an Australian citizen after moving here from England in 2012 and marrying our daughter in 2015.

Family photo with the Queen
Family selfie with the Queen afterwards

Lamingtons and Vegemite sandwiches

The refreshments afterwards included lamingtons and Vegemite sandwiches – how appropriate is that?

So what are you proud of?  I wrote a post recently about being THANKFUL and now I’m Proud as well. Not bad for a week’s work!

Let me know what you’re proud of.

Feel free to leave me a comment below. I always love hearing from you and try to answer all your comments 🙂

Deb xx

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31 Replies to “What makes you proud?”

  1. How lovely that you could be there to join in their special day – and wonderful that your son-in-law was ready to commit to becoming a dinky di Aussie 🙂 Great family photo at the end and one you’ll remember for a long time x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was very special Leanne, and quite moving too. I just felt joyful knowing they’d all made the choice to become an Australian citizen and yes having our son in law join our ranks was a huge commitment. I love the family selfie too – it was a fun way to finish the day! Thanks for your support xx


  2. Congrats to your son-in-law. What a wonderful ceremony to be part of Deb. No wonder you’re so proud. My mum became an Australian citizen way back but I don’t think there was any ceremony or hoo ha. Lovely post xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so fortunate to attend a citizenship ceremony Deb. I have heard that they are worth attending. How lovely to see your son in law receive his citizenship. When I think of what makes me proud it is my children. I am so proud that I raised them to be responsible caring adults. Great post Deb #MLSTL Shared on SM

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful post and experience for you and your family Deb. I haven’t known anyone who has become a citizen (apart from Mike who was a child at the time). My children and grandchildren are what makes me proud. The bring me joy and happiness each day and are beautiful human beings. Thank you for sharing at #MLSTL and I can see you bursting with pride xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How lovely that was to read and see. I think I would be quite teary at a citizenship ceremony. I know of two bloggers and their families who became Australian citizens and another couple from Scotland. My birth year is 1949. Wow, Until then I would have been a British subject. Mind you my paternal grandmother (from England) would have cheered. She called England “home” as in, I wish I could go back “home” to visit. She emmigrated as a WW1 war bride and never got to go back sadly. Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. Many migrants wanted to return ‘home’ but I think my son in law is happy to stay – thank goodness!! It was quite an emotional ceremony and full of joy. I just wish I could have asked to interview some of them in order to learn their stories. They would have been fascinating.


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