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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Advance Australia Fair

in: Randwick New South Wales 2031, Australia
On 11 March we became Australian citizens. Which means we never have to leave!

The ceremony itself was a rather peculiar affair which reminded me a little of my graduation. It was one of those peculiarities of local government that's obviously a regular and not insignificant event but which has to somehow stay fresh for the regular participants and might occasionally struggle a little to do so. Migration is a serious contributor to Australia's population and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics consistently exceeds natural growth so these ceremonies must be pretty frequent.

The mayor of Randwick presented the certificates and  another councilor acted as MC. There were various community members there to represent wider society including quite a few (elderly) former servicemen. For what could be quite a stuffy and tedious affair it was handled quite well and was quite touching in it's earnest sincerity - which I should have expected - formal without being stuffy.

When you arrive at the ceremony you have to go and put your name on the electoral roll (sensibly, voting is compulsory here) and are directed to your seat, on which rests a bag of goodies. It contains:
  • A welcome note from your new federal MP
  • An information leaflet from the Australian electoral commission and,
A cue card with your citizenship pledge on it