City hosts nation-first online ceremony

City hosts nation-first online ceremony

The City of Melbourne has hosted the first “virtual” citizenship ceremony to officially welcome the newest Australians to the community.

In partnership with the Federal Government, the council has decided the show must go on despite the coronavirus pandemic, and on April 22 seven Melburnians became the country’s newest citizens.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp conducted the ceremony via Zoom and was seen in a video posted to Twitter congratulating Docklands residents Tuhin, Rupsa and their daughter Tulip on becoming Australians.

“Securing citizenship is incredibly important to new Australians, who have made the choice to commit to our country and bring the best of themselves and their heritage to create a fresh future here in Melbourne,” Cr Capp said.

“It is always a privilege for councils to share this special celebration and before COVID-19 restrictions the City of Melbourne would typically confer citizenship on several hundred people in a very large and exciting Town Hall sitting every few months.”

“I am pleased and relieved that we can now continue to deliver our ceremonies by using technology innovatively.”

Acting Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge commended the council for assisting with the trial. He said the government expected 90,000 people would receive their citizenship this way during the next six months.

The council itself usually holds six to eight citizenship ceremonies each year, with about 100 new citizens participating in each ceremony at Town Hall.

Between 1 July 2010 and 31 March 2020, it welcomed 7156 new Australian citizens, making it the fastest growing municipality in Australia.

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