Ehnsta Tapas is proud to be an Australian because Australian treat people equally, and
Ehnsta Tapas is proud to be an Australian because Australian treat people equally, and "we have the best health care". Rebecca Davis

New citizens join ranks of Gladstonians

THIS week Gladstone welcomed 17 new citizens.

It's a number that continues to rise as public citizenship ceremonies are becoming increasingly regular in Gladstone.

Just six months ago at another public ceremony, Gladstone welcomed 13 new citizens to town.

Since the 2011/12 financial year, Mayor Sellers has welcomed 196 new Australian citizens to the Gladstone region.

It's an increase on the previous year when Gladstone welcomed 137 new residents, which is also a big jump from only 40 new citizens in the 2009/10 financial year.

Sellers said people are coming from all over the world to take part in the Gladstone boom.

"It's a direct flow-on from the construction work in the area," she said.

"They have to be here for at least two years to apply for citizenship and it's an involved process so that's why a big jump has occurred."

The Australia Citizenship Test Snapshot 2011-12 released at the end of last month revealed citizenship in Australia is increasing overall.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said more people from vulnerable backgrounds were expressing interest in acquiring citizenship since the government introduced education pathways for migrants.

"Becoming a citizen is an important step which shows commitment to our nation and its people," Mr Bowen said.

The latest citizenship snapshot supports that Australia has a high citizenship take-up rate compared with other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"The high citizenship take-up rate is a mark of the success of the citizenship focused model of Australian multiculturalism," Mr Bowen said.

"This number continues to increase as more migrants choose to make their home here and seek to become fully-fledged members of the Australian family."

A record 71,662 applicants from more than 196 countries took the citizenship test in 2011-12, up almost 20% on last year's figure of 59,787.

 

FAST FACTS

Source: citizenship.gov.au/

  • More than 4.5million people have become citizens since Australian citizenship was introduced in 1949.
  • In 2011-12, 84,183 people became Australian citizens by conferral from at least 180 different countries.
  • A record 71,662 applicants from more than 196 countries took the citizenship test in 2011-12, up almost 20% on last year's figure of 59,787.
  • More than 90% of people in the humanitarian program passed the test.
  • The top five countries of birth for migrants who took the test are the United Kingdom (16.6%), India (13.9%), China (10.1%), the Philippines (6.1%) and South Africa (5.1%).


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