Sutherland Shire Council's Citizenship Ceremony Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to attend the ceremony? Can’t I just collect my certificate or have it mailed out?

  • You will not become an Australian citizen until you have read the Australian Citizenship Pledge in the presence of the Mayor or Minister for Immigration & Border Protection
  • If you have been approved for Australian citizenship then an invitation may be emailed or mailed to you from council approximately four weeks prior to the next scheduled ceremony
  • If you do not receive an invitation, please phone us to check. Your approval may have come too close to the next scheduled ceremony (there is a cut off period and number) or your contact details may have been incorrect

What do I do if I cannot attend the ceremony?

  • Please follow the instructions sent to you as part of your invitation
  • Contact the Dept of Immigration & Border Protection on 131 880 quoting your reference number
  • Your name will then go on the list for the next ceremony
  • Dates for future ceremonies can be found at: www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Our_Community/Citizenship

What is the Australian Citizenship Pledge?

  • The “Pledge” contains the words you will read out in the presence of the Mayor in order to complete your Citizenship requirements
  • Below are the two pledges that you can choose between

Pledge 1 (oath)

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


Pledge 2 (affirmation)

From this time forward,

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


 

  • If you would like to make your pledge on a Holy Book, please bring that Book along to the ceremony as they are not provided

What about children who are to become Australian citizens?

  • Children under 16 are not required to make the Pledge
  • All children receive their own certificate
  • Children under 16 years are not required to attend the ceremony. Their certificates will be given to their parents
  • It is important that you advise us whether or not any children receiving their citizenship will/won’t be attending

What do I do at the ceremony?

  • You will be asked to attend the venue early to register for the ceremony and update your details with the Australian Electoral Commission
  • Note that we stagger the arrival times to avoid congestion at registration
  • Please bring your invitation from Sutherland Shire council with you (printed or on a device)
  • You are required to also have photographic identity (driver’s license, passport etc)
  • If you do not have photo identification, please bring along three documents with your name, address, and signature (bank statements, credit card statements, bills)

 

If you do not have adequate identification, you will not be allowed to proceed with the citizenship ceremony

 

  • If you have legally changed your name since applying for citizenship, please advise us as soon as possible and provide proof of the name change
  • You will be given an allocated seat (your guests may not sit with you during the ceremony), a pledge card, and a copy of the program
  • After you have registered and checked your details with the Australian Electoral Commission, there may be a short wait until the ceremony starts. Once registered you will be required to stay on the premises. Should you need to leave, ID will have to be re-confirmed
  • The ceremony will start with speeches followed by the pledges
  • You will be asked to stand as a group (according to which pledge you will be making) and asked to read out the pledge
  •  Please note that if you arrive late and miss this part of the ceremony, let one of our ushers know, and we will arrange a private ceremony afterward. If you do not complete the pledge, you will not become an Australian citizen
  • If you are not in your allocated seat during this part of the ceremony you will be noted as not having completed the pledge. We will re-check your ID and organise a private ceremony afterward
  • After the pledges, you will be shown on stage (individually or as a family group and in your seat order), to receive your citizenship certificate from the Mayor
  • An official photographer will take a photo, which you may purchase after the event (link below)
  • After you have received your certificate, exit the stage where you will be given an envelope for your certificate, gift vouchers and the Official Photographer details. You will also be handed an Australian Affirmation card, which will be performed just before the singing of the National Anthem

 

Please return quietly to you​r seat at this point be respectful of other people still receiving their certificate. 

Guests will not be able to join you until the end of the ceremony.

 

  • The ceremony lasts approximately one hour and light refreshments are served afterward

What do I wear?

  •  There is no official dress code. However, as this is a formal ceremony and you will be asked to go on stage to meet the Mayor and receive your certificate, we encourage smart business or smart casual attire. Your national/traditional costume is also acceptable

I have children attending who are not receiving a citizenship certificate. Where will they sit?

  • They should sit with your guests if possible. If this is not possible, then please let us know (see your RSVP form) that they need to sit with you
  • The same arrangement is in place for prams
  • Please do not request pram spaces or child seating for your guests. Guest seating is unreserved

Can my family and friends who are also becoming Australian citizens sit with me?

  • Yes. They must have all received an invitation from council to attend the same ceremony
  • Please list their names where indicated on the RSVP form and let us know if they are family or friends

Can my guests sit with me?  

  • No. All people becoming citizens sit together in allocated seats
  • Guests sit in the unreserved seating area behind the citizenship candidates or upstairs in the Dress Circle
  • Please remind your guests to be respectful of the other new citizens waiting to receive their certificates from the Mayor and wait to congratulate you at the end of the official proceedings

Why do I need to complete an electoral form if I’m already on the electoral roll?

  •  This is so the Electoral Commission can update your records to show your change of citizenship

I have mobility/vision/hearing issues. Will this make any difference at the ceremony?

  •  Let us know your requirements so that we can make appropriate arrangements as needed

Can photos be taken during the ceremony?

  • Yes. Friends and family are welcome to take photographs throughout the ceremony
  • Please ask them not to block the official photographer or the other new citizens waiting to go on stage

Official photos can be viewed and purchased at: RG Photography

 

 

Location

Address: ,

More information

Enquiries

Enquiries can be directed to Events team - Arts & Culture on 02 9710 0993 or ceremonies@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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