Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has welcomed new citizens in Canberra to celebrate Australia Day, saying they honoured the country by choosing to become part of it.
“Most of us were tiny conscripts to Australian citizenship; our oath of allegiance an indignant howl as we emerged blinking into the light of our first day,” the prime minister told the group on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.
“But you have made a choice, not just to live among us but to become one of us.”
Mr Turnbull joined the Attorney General Peter Cosgrove and Victoria Cross medallist Ben Roberts Smith to address the new citizens.
‘We all have the same rights as citizens, one same share in this, our Australian project,’ Mr Turnbull said.
‘Thank you for joining our Australian family, I wish you, your families and all Australians good fortune today and every day as we advance Australia fair.’
The prime minister administered the oath to the 28 new citizens and said each of the new citizens ‘adds another thread to the national tapestry’ of a history stretching back more than 40,000 years.
He spoke of his own family’s migrant story and said the nation was enriched by the cultures of all its citizens.
The prime minister administered the oath to 28 new citizens at the event in Canberra, which also included an official flag raising and indigenous smoking ceremony.