Citizenship: Your right, your responsibility—National Consultation on
Citizenship: Final Report
Government should promote an inclusive understanding of Australian citizenship
as a 'common bond', founded on shared values, rights and responsibilities and
encourage expression of these values in everyday life.
on citizenship should be prominently displayed in Government shopfronts, at the
border, in overseas posts and as part of the Australian Electoral Commission's
Civics and Citizenship component of the National Curriculum should be updated
to include material on allegiance to Australia.
and other programmes should be developed to provide civics and citizenship
education to newly arrived migrants and the wider community, drawing on the
Civics and Citizenship curriculum as appropriate. The promotion of civics and
citizenship should be a condition of contracts with settlement services
Citizenship Pledge should be updated to include language on allegiance to
should be given to expanding the usage of the Pledge to the broader community,
for example, through school and community events.
should remain a desirable and obtainable goal for those legal migrants and
permanent residents who wish to become fully fledged members of Australian
society, committed to its values and its interests. On balance, dual
citizenship benefits Australia and should remain an option available to Australians.
Government should continue to strengthen the integrity of the citizenship
process, including through elements proposed in the Australian Citizenship and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.
recognition of the role permanent residency plays as a qualifying step towards
becoming a citizen, the Government should consider measures to strengthen the
integrity of the permanent residency programme, including through appropriate
civics education and other processes, such as testing.
general residence requirement should be increased to a minimum of four years
permanent residence immediately prior to the application for citizenship,
during which time applicants may be absent from Australia for no more than 12
months in total. Applicants for citizenship should be physically in Australia
to lodge their application and to acquire Australian citizenship at a ceremony.
Citizenship Test should be retained, revised and updated to include questions
about allegiance and more questions about the rule of law, values and
democratic rights and responsibilities in the Citizenship Test. This should
include questions pertinent to existing revocation of citizenship provisions.
integrity of the Citizenship Test should be strengthened through limits on the
number of times a person can sit but fail to pass the test before their
application is refused. A person can make a new application for citizenship
once he or she has gained a sufficient understanding to enable them to pass the
test. Cheating on the Citizenship Test should incur appropriate penalties.
Government should ensure more individuals formally make the Pledge by reducing
the exemptions from participation in citizenship ceremonies and by including
the Pledge in processes whereby citizenship is gained by descent, adoption or
Government should consider clarifying public understanding that all
Australian-born citizens and those who have citizenship by descent are bound by
the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship as set out in the Preamble.
view of the strong emphasis the community places on English language, the
Government should improve the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP) and ensure
new citizens have adequate not just basic language ability, taking into account
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