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Australia Day Ceremonies

Many different ceremonial aspects can form an Australia Day event including:

Welcome or Acknowledgement of Country 

Welcome to Country, Acknowledgement of Country, Australia Day

A welcome to Country is where an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander traditional owner, custodian or Elder welcomes people to their land. Welcoming visitors has been a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture for thousands of years.

A Welcome to Country always occurs at the opening of an event and is usually the first item of the program. The local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander custodian or traditional owner conducts the ceremony which may take the form of a speech, song, ceremony, or a combination of all of these things.

An Acknowledgment of Country is a way of showing respect and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners of the land on which an event is being held, by recognising the connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their Country.

To learn more, visit the Reconciliation South Australia website.


Citizenship Ceremonies

Citizenship Ceremonies Australia Day

Australian citizenship is more than just a ceremony and forms an important part of Australia Day celebrations. It symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home. Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting our diversity.

Citizenship ceremonies are generally conducted by local government councils and can be held on Australia Day as part of the program of events. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection administers citizenship ceremonies. The Department notifies local government regarding new citizens in their area. There are clear protocols which must be followed in relation to Citizenship ceremonies.

In South Australia 1295 people from 85 Countries became new citizens in 37 ceremonies on Australia Day, at Council and Committee events throughout the state. 

Find more information at the Australian citizenship website.


Affirmation Ceremonies

Affirmation ceremonies allow all Australian citizens to affirm their loyalty to Australia and its people—engendering a feeling of belonging to their community and building pride in their citizenship.

These ceremonies have no status in law and no legal effect. Participation is voluntary.

The Affirmation Ceremony should be foreshadowed at the beginning of the function or Citizenship Ceremony to allow those present to consider whether they wish to participate. It should be made clear that participation is voluntary and that recitation of the affirmation has no legal effect.


The Affirmation reads:

As an Australian citizen, 
I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people, 
whose democratic beliefs I share
whose rights and liberties I respect,
and whose laws I uphold and obey.


To learn more visit Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Affirmation Ceremonies

Affirmation cards and a wide range of other Australian citizenship and affirmation products are available at no charge and can be obtained via an online order form from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The special edition Australia Day Affirmation cards can be ordered from the National Australia Day Council by emailing:


Australian National Anthem

The Australian National Anthem, proclaimed in 1984, identifies Australia at home and overseas. It unites the nation and is a public expression of joy and pride in being Australian.

The two authorised verses of the Australian National Anthem, as proclaimed in 1984, are:

Australians all let us rejoice, 
For we are young and free; 
We've golden soil and wealth for toil; 
Our home is girt by sea; 
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts; 
Of beauty rich and rare; 
In history's page, let every stage 
Advance Australia Fair 
In joyful strains then let us sing, 
Advance Australia Fair

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.



The Australian Flag and flag flying

On Australia Day, people all over the country will fly the Australian National Flag, as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags.

As the nation's foremost symbol, the Australian National Flag should be used with respect and dignity.

The below protocols are to assist you when flying or using the flag.

  • It is best practice to display the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag together.
  • The correct order for displaying them is: Australian, Aboriginal and then Torres Strait Islander from left to right when looking at the stage. If you are also displaying your State or Territory flag, the order would be Australian, your State or Territory, Aboriginal and then Torres Strait Islander from left to right again.
  • The flags should not be flown upside down, below are pictures of the correct way.
  • All flags must be the same size.
  • If flying all state flags the order is as follows:
    • Australian
    • NSW
    • VIC
    • QLD
    • WA
    • SA
    • TAS
    • ACT
    • NT
    • Aboriginal
    • Torres Strait Islander
    • If you have access to another Australian Flag it would go at the end as well as the start.

More information is available at the It's An Honour website.


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