Celebrating citizenship on Australia Day

​Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January each year. It is an opportunity for all Australians, whether they are citizens by birth or by choice to come together as a nation, and recognise the shared values and common bonds that connect us as Australians.

Citizenship ceremonies are an important part of Australia Day celebrations. Becoming a citizen means that new Australians are officially recognised as full members of the Australian community. Special Australia Day ceremonies are often led by officials including the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, government representatives or other prominent Australian citizens.

More people become Australian citizens on Australia Day than any other day of the year. Since the first Australian citizenship ceremony in 1949, more than 5 million people have chosen to become Australian citizens.

Australia Day is also an opportunity for all Australians to affirm their commitment to Australia by taking part in an Australian citizenship affirmation. Affirmations can be part of a citizenship ceremony or other community function.

Find out about applying for Australian citizenship.

Australia Day 2​​017

Australia Day celebrations for 2017 saw over 16,000 people from around 150 countries become Australian citizens in over 400 ceremonies hosted across all states and territories.

Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP presided over the National Flag-Raising and Citizenship Ceremony in Canberra and welcomed 28 new Australians. The ceremony was televised live on the ABC.

Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP with the new citizens at their special Australia Day citizenship ceremony on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.

Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP welcomes the new citizens at their Australia Day citizenship ceremony in Canberra.

Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the Department of Home Affairs.​

To mark the ceremony, the national flag was raised, cannons fired over Regatta Point and a traditional smoking ceremony was performed by Ngunnawal elder Tina Brown.

Ngunnawal elder Tina Brown applies ochre to the face of Australia's new citizens, including the Matthee family.

Ngunnawal elder Tina Brown applies ochre to the face of Australia's new citizens, including the Matthee family.

Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the Department of Home Affairs.

Australian of the Yea​r​ Awards

2017 Australian of the Year Award Winners L-R: Australia’s Local Hero Vicki Jellie, Senior Australian of the Year Sister Anne Ga

2017 Australian of the Year Award Winners L-R: Australia’s Local Hero Vicki Jellie, Senior Australian of the Year Sister Anne Gardiner AM, Australian of the Year Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, Young Australian of the Year Paul Vasileff.

Photo not to be used or reproduced without the permission of the National Australia Day Council.

As part of the national Australia Day celebrations, the Prime Minister announces the recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards. Each year we recognise the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all. They inspire and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia.

The Department proudly sponsors the Local Hero Award which recognises the siginificant contributions of citizens in their local communities.​​​​​