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Byron Shire
June 20, 2021

Council reverses decision on moving Australia Day ceremony 

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Council have backed down on a decision to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremony on a different day, owing to a breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.

Council staff confirmed with The Echo The Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony, hosted by Byron Shire Council, will be held on January 26, 2019. Council’s media spokesperson said, ‘Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of January 25.’

Staff say the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman, wrote to Council after its decision to move its Australia Day Awards ceremony to January 25.

They said, ‘Minister Coleman advised Council that to hold an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony on January 25 would be in breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, and Council was therefore excluded from presiding at any future citizenship ceremonies.’

‘Council recognises that for many people, being able to become a citizen of Australia at a ceremony in the Byron Shire, surrounded by family and friends, is important. Council wrote to senator Coleman to say that we would continue to hold an Australia Day Citizenship ceremony on January 26 in keeping with the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code. 

‘Minister Coleman has now advised Council that he has accepted this undertaking and Council is now able to preside over future citizenship ceremonies.

‘Byron Shire Council’s official Awards ceremony recognising the contribution and efforts of our local residents will be held on January 25.’


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Umm … Isn’t the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.part of the Invasion of Australian Day.
    So this move by Byron Council was weak from the start to recognise our First People the indigenous and indigenous concerns that their ancestors were invaded and massacred.
    Maybe the Council move was just a humorous twitch for publicity.

  2. “a humorous twitch for publicity” is about right.
    The back down had nothing to do with Cl recognising people wanted to become citizens on the day (thats just Cl’s propaganda). Cl failed to consult anybody involved in the day, not the Arakwal, nor the Survival Day crew or any of the other event groups. The Arakwal then advised Cl it was a Cl proposal, not theirs, the Survival crew then advised Cl that they were going ahead with the 26th event on the day that marked the British flag raising, and the Australia Day committee asked Cl what was going on. The Mayors ‘change the day and we can all have a jolly good time’ ignored consultation, and ignored that this day also is a national day of Sorry Business for all Aboriginal people. The nature of what is incorporated in the day is the change needed, not the date. Byron has been holding a Survival Day for the last 14 years, to enfranchise Aboriginal residents and the broader community with national day that acknowledges all the facts as our shared history, one of only about 4 Survival events held in NSW.
    And what?, the ceremony for the Cl’s advertised Australia Day Awards, organised and adjudicated by Cl’s Australia Day Committee, will now be held on another day, to illuminate what principle???

  3. Just as well, Council would be sure to be kicked out at next election for making such a ridiculous decision. They might still be voted out.

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