Some 16,000 new Australians will be welcomed in Australian Citizenship ceremonies across Australia on 26 January.
25 January 2010
New Australian citizens to celebrate national day
On Australia’s national day, 26 January, hundreds of people will accept Australian Citizenship and join in the national celebrations.
More than 16,000 new Australian citizens will be welcomed, and the day will be celebrated with traditional fun and games, as well as more unusual events.
Thousands are expected to flock to music concerts, big barbecues, the beach and even a cockroach race on the national holiday.
Australia Day marks the day the First Fleet arrived on Sydney shores in 1788.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will preside over an Australian citizenship ceremony in Canberra, one of 358 being held around the nation where people from 144 countries who will pledge allegiance to Australia.
One soon-to-be Australian citizen, former Indian student Vishal Bhanavani will proudly celebrate Australia Day. Mr Bhanavani came to Australia to study, but later decided to emigrate to Australia fully and become an Australian citizen.
Mr Bhanavani, of Essendon, will begin his Australia Day working in security at Victorian Government House, which is open to the public for the day, before going to a mate's place for a barbecue.
Mr Bhanavani has already aced the citizenship test, scoring 91 per cent, and will become a citizen within months.
Despite tensions over the recent attack on Indian/Australian Nitin Garg in Melbourne, the Indian community will have two things to celebrate as 26 January is also Indian Republic Day and marks 60 years since India became a republic.
Indian and Australian flags will fly side by side in celebrations in Melbourne.