Summary

Standard copied letter issued by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, it addresses Citizenship issues and Affirmation Ceremony procedures. The letter is part of the 'Australian Citizenship' information and promotional kit issued by The Department of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Canberra in 2003. The kit emphasises the need for Australian citizens to have a shared vision and commitment to the future of Australia, and highlights the common values and aspirations of Australian citizens. This kit represents the continued desire to encourage migrants to take out citizenship as well as a new trend towards affirmation - existing citizens reaffirming their national allegiances.

Physical Description

Introductory letter printed on white paper in black text, one side only.

Significance

Issues of nationhood, national identity and citizenship have long been inextricably connected to discussions about migration. Since the nineteenth century and the evolution of notions of who should define and compose the Australian population - from the Australian Natives Association to the implementers of the White Australia Policy to multiculturalism - Australians have grappled with the question of identity. Colonial processes of naturalization were in effect as far back as the 1850s and after World War II there was a great deal of activity surrounding the naturalization of the waves of new migrants as well as annual citizenship conventions discussing related issues.

The debate continues today and this kit represents the continued contemporary desire to encourage migrants to take out citizenship as well as a new trend towards affirmation - existing citizens reaffirming their national allegiances. This may be interpreted within a current environment of national security fears and a desire to engender a politically inspired national unity. Like the community movements of the 1950s (such as the Good Neighbour movement), there is also a desire to encourage participation and initiatives at a community level with the calls for community citizenship and affirmation events.

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