Sutherland Shire Councils Citizenship Ceremony Frequently Asked Questions

Before attending your ceremony we recommend you download the COVIDSafe app by visiting www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app

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 Home Affairs
  • 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 check your email inbox, junkmail, and promotions tab for an email from ceremonies@ssc.nsw.gov.au. If you do not appear to have received an email invitation, 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 Home Affairs 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 on council's Citizenship Ceremony page 

Please do not attend if:

  • you have recently visited or returned from a Covid-19 Hotspot, been in close contact with someone who has recently visited or returned from a Covid-19 Hotspot

  • you show symptoms such as cough, fever, or sore throat, or have been tested positive or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive to Covid-19

    People showing the above symptoms will not be permitted entry to the building regardless of recent COVID-19 testing results

  • The Dept of Home Affairs will be advised of your non-attendance and you will be invited to a ceremony at a later date
 

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

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

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

 

 

  • A pledge card, containing the above words, will be given to you at the ceremony
  • If you would like to practice beforehand, an audio version is available on the Dept of Home Affairs citizenship website
  • 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
  • Children under 16 years are not required to attend the ceremony and, due to current NSW Public Health restrictions regarding gatherings, will not be invited to attend a ceremony. Their certificates will be given to their parents

What do I do at the ceremony?

  • As per NSW Health requirements, all conferees will be required to sign-in on entering the building. A staff member will be present to provide assistance, and monitor social distancing, and hand-hygiene. You will be asked several questions regarding contact with Covid-19 hotspots, contacts and symptoms. If you have symptoms as listed above, you will not be permitted entry to the building

  • Upon successful completion of the Covid-19 Safety Check, you will then be directed to the Ceremony Registration Desk on Level 2

  • During Registration, you will need to show photographic identification (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 choose to wear a mask, you will be required to removed it to allow visual identification to be completed

 

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 ), a pledge card, and a copy of the program
  • You will also be provided with an Australian Electoral Commission form that you must complete and return (their details are on the form) so that your electoral roll records may be updated to show your change of citizenship status
  • After you have registered, there may be a short wait until the ceremony starts. You will be required to stay on the premises until the completion of the ceremony. Should you need to leave, ID will have to be re-confirmed
  • The ceremony will start with speeches followed by the Pledge of Commitment
  • 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 (from Mayor's speech until completion of the pledges) you will be noted as not having completed the pledge. We will re-check your ID and organise a private ceremony afterward
  • The ceremony lasts approximately 20 minutes

What do I wear?

  •  The dress code is smart business or smart casual attire. This is a formal ceremony and you will be asked to go on stage to meet the Mayor and receive your certificate. Your national/traditional costume is also acceptable

I have very young children attending who are not receiving their citizenship. Where will they sit?

  • Numbers are strictly limited. If you have young children that cannot be left with relatives or friends while you attend the ceremony at Council Chambers, please advise the ceremony coordinator immediately

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

  • Seating is allocated according to nominated Pledge and strict social distancing guidelines. We will endeavour to seat family members near each other where possible

Can I bring guests?  

  • Due to NSW Public Health restrictions on gatherings, numbers are strictly limited to conferees only. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate guests at this point

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.Please maintain social distancing at all times
  • There will be no Official Photography

 

 

Location

Address: ,

More information

Enquiries

Enquiries can be directed to Events team - Arts & Culture on 02 9710 0063 or ceremonies@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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