Assimilation (or “Why I Support the Wallabies”)

October 25, 2015

outback290I was a migrant. Past tense if you please. At some point you stop being a migrant and become a citizen. Not because of a piece of paper received from the government, but because you decide you are no longer a guest but rather a host. That you are not just part of the place, but of the place. Read more

Citizenship Jingoism?

August 23, 2009

citizenship_ceremony290.jpgSurprised myself by discovering not so. My own ceremony was held with a small handful of others in the office of some Melbourne based Minister. I can’t recall who he was. Last week I attended a citizenship ceremony in North Sydney and discovered it was a quite emotive and sentimental affair. I lost track of the number of nationalities but every continent was represented by teary and emotive people, some pictured here wanting a picture of themselves with the mayor. (Who I have to say did an excellent job of making a group ceremony special to each person). Even someone from Iceland. I enjoyed every minute as an observer but was surprised by the Mayor who suggested those of us existing citizens might like to reaffirm our “vows.” It was a special moment, all the more poignant for its unexpectedness. Indeed, it was almost enough to have me learn the words of our national anthem.