17,000 people from 145 countries soon to call Australia home


MELBOURNE: Almost 17,000 people from 145 countries around the world will soon be calling themselves Aussies at citizenship ceremonies around the nation this weekend.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said the highest number of new citizens will make their pledge in Queensland, with 9,964 receiving certificates, followed by 3,814 in Victoria and 3,763 in New South Wales (NSW).

The UK is the top nation of origin for new citizens, followed by India, South Africa, the Philippines and China.

The number of new citizens in NSW making the pledge on Saturday is up by nearly 800 state-wide compared with last year, the DIAC spokeswoman told the Australian Associated Press.

More than four and a half million people have become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949. — Bernama