19,000 granted citizenship on Australia Day
PHOTO - Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Tens of thousands of people protested in solidarity with First Nations people at time when over 400 events being held across Australia to welcome new citizens
By Islamuddin Sajid
ANKARA (AA) - Over 19,000 migrants from various countries were granted Australian citizenship on the occasion of Australia Day on Thursday.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attended the ceremony in the capital Canberra, one of over 400 events held across the country to welcome new citizens.
"Today, all over our nation, over 19,000 people from every part of the world, drawn from every faith and background will be pledging their loyalty to their new home, to Australia, our democratic beliefs, our laws, our values, and our people," Albanese said during his speech at the ceremony.
"I'm honored to have this chance to personally welcome all of you here to take the pledge of citizenship. Hailing from Nigeria, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Iran, Egypt, Malaysia, and the USA," he said, according to a transcript published on his official website.
In other cities, the local communities formally welcomed their new members as Australian citizens.
On the contrary, tens of thousands of people protested across the country in solidarity with the indigenous First Nations people.
While it is a day of celebration for some, it is a day of mourning for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is referred to as Invasion Day or Survival Day, according to Lidia Thorpe, an Australian Greens party Senator and Aboriginal politician, who called it "invasion day" because it also marks the start of British colonization in 1788.
"When the British invaded these lands, we never sat down to negotiate what peaceful coexistence looks like. Only a Treaty will end the war against First Nations people," she expressed her thoughts in an opinion piece published by the SBS media outlet.