The Federal Government has removed the prohibition on local councils holding their citizenship ceremonies on a day other than Australia Day. The prohibition was previously put in place by the Turnbull Government in response to certain anti-Anglo local councils that saw Australia Day not as a joyful celebration of our British, and therefore national, heritage, but a ‘day of shame’ for Indigenous Australians. These councils attempted to hold their citizenship ceremonies on a day separate to Australia Day.
While the new regulations stipulate that the ceremonies should occur “on or around” Australia Day, it’s clear that this is about allowing hard left councils to set the principle that there is something shameful about Australia Day that should be separated from the conferral of citizenship. This will lay the groundwork for a change to the Australia Day public holiday, because the Government will be able to point to the number of councils who have already made change as ‘proof’ that there is organic support for the move.
But there is something we can do about it. Below is a template for an email you can send to your local council, based upon one that’s been doing the rounds among people we know. Feel free to change it as you wish, but remember to keep it polite, succinct and professional. The key demands are twofold: 1. That your council should continue to hold its citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day, and 2. That they should release a statement, positively affirming that Australia Day is the appropriate day to hold citizenship ceremonies.
If we could get a number of councils publicly supporting Australia Day, it would go some way to demonstrating the natural support that exists for this important national institution.
The email details of your local councillors should be able to be found on your council’s website.
Dear Mayor [Mayor’s name] and the Councillors of [Council name],
I write to you as a resident of the [Council name] community.You may be aware of the news that the Prime Minister has removed the prohibition on local councils holding citizenship ceremonies on dates other than Australia Day, the 26th of January.This is very obviously a ploy to create momentum for a change to the date of Australia Day to something other than the 26th of January. If the Federal Government attempts to make this change they will point to the “large number of councils who have already made the change in their citizenship ceremonies”.To change the date of Australia Day away from the date of first British settlement is a deliberate attack upon our heritage, a heritage which has provided the governmental institutions and rights currently available to all Australians, whether Indigenous, Anglo-Australian or otherwise.I would ask that [Council name] not only continues to hold its citizenship ceremonies (and other related events) on the 26th of January, but that it publicly commits to the current date, releasing a statement to that effect. This will be recognised as an act of true leadership and patriotism not just within our Council area, but by millions of grateful Australians across the nation.I am happy to discuss this further with any of you via email or phone. My number is [phone number]. I hope you all have a joyful Christmas and a restful New Year period.Kind regards,[Full name]