The newest Australians have been sworn in at the official Australia Day ceremony in Canberra, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Governor-General David Hurley in attendance.
In his speech, Morrison described Australia as “the most successful multicultural and multi-faith nation on earth”.
“Like the country itself, Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are diverse, they’re unique and they connect us through time,” Mr Morrison said.
“And here in our capital, home of the Ngunnawal people, the home of a free, democratic people, the most successful multicultural and multi-faith nation on earth, we also honour the men and women past and present who secured and now protect our freedoms by serving in the Australian Defence Forces.”
Among the participants in the traditional welcome to country ceremony, Indigenous elder Violet Sheridan made an emotional appeal for more members of her community to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Hurley described the past two years as “difficult”.
But he said he believed the nation was “turning the corner” as Australians recover from the pandemic.
“I think, we are on the verge of a new direction, turning the corner, riding that wave.”
The Governor-General said 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott was an inspiring figure.
“There’s a kindness and compassion out there, very evident in our Australians of the Year. A quiet confidence that if we look after each other, we will be okay.”
Mr Morrison later congratulated and posed for photos with Australians who had just received their citizenship.