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​​018

Australia Day celebrations for 2018 saw over 12,000 people from around 130 countries become Australian citizens at nearly 350 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 32 new Australians. The Australian citizenship affirmation was led by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honorable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd). The ceremony was televised live on the ABC.

Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and the Governor-General welcome
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 Warren Daley.

Ngunnawal elder Warren Daley welcoming everyone with a traditional smoking ceremony.

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

As part of the Australia Day celebrations, an Australian citizenship ceremony was held in the Australian Antarctic Territory on 24 January 2018, for only the second time in history.

UK born plumber, Terry Barrell became an Australian citizen in a ceremony at Davis Research Station presided over by the Station Leader.

New Australian citizen Terry Barrell poses with his citizenship certificate next to two curious penguins in Antarctica.

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

Australian of the Yea​r​ Awards

2018 Australian of the Year Award Winners L-R: Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Graham Farquar AO;
Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Yvonne Simmons; Australia's Local Hero, Eddie Woo;
Young Australian of the Year, Samantha Kerr.

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.​​​​​