Citizenship Ceremonies

Becoming an Australian citizen means you can call Australia home and acquire all the privileges and responsibilities of a person who was born here. It is a step that will enable you to say 'I am Australian'. At the Shire of Esperance we take great pride in assisting our residents in achieving this final step to becoming an Australian citizen.

To be eligible to attend a citizenship ceremony at the Shire of Esperance you must reside within the Esperance district and have completed your application process with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Once your application has been approved the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection will send you a letter of approval.  Details of approved candidates are sent to councils approximately every two to three weeks (so it is likely that we may not have your details on our records if you have only just received your approval letter).

The Shire of Esperance conducts approximately seven citizenship ceremonies per year with one of those being the Australia Day Ceremony.

The ceremony consists of:

  • ​The Australian National Anthem
  • The Ministers Message
  • Citizenship Preamble
  • Pledge of Commitment
  • Presentation of Citizenship certificates
  • Presiding Officer's speech

 Frequently Asked Questions

Can I choose to attend at the Shire of Esperance even if I don’t live in the council boundary?

No.  Candidates are required to attend their ceremony with their local council.  DIBP will share your details with your local council only, as it is their responsibility to provide this service to you as one of their residents.  Attending your local council also provides you with an opportunity to meet and speak with your locally elected Council members and get to know the Shire staff.

I have received my letter of approval. When can I attend a ceremony?

The Shire of Esperance is unable to provide you with a ceremony date until we receive notification from the DIBP that your citizenship has been approved. These notifications are received from the DIBP approximately every two to three weeks. Once the Shire of Esperance has received this notification you will be scheduled onto the next available citizenship ceremony.

How long will I have to wait before I get an invitation to my ceremony?

Waiting times vary between three to four weeks.  Shire staff will call you to make initial contact and discuss a mutually convenient date.  Once this date has been confirmed a letter of acknowledgement will be sent to you either by post or email outlining the arrangements of the ceremony.

Do I need to attend a ceremony to receive my certificate?

Yes. Candidates are required to attend a citizenship ceremony and make their Pledge of Commitment out loud and in English in front of the Presiding Officer in order to validate their citizenship and receive their certificate.  DIBP order the certificates from Canberra and it can take up to three to four weeks for these to be printed, posted and received by the Shire of Esperance.

I have been invited to a ceremony but I can’t attend on that date.  What should I do?

Notify us of your unavailability and we will transfer you to a more suitable scheduled ceremony date. 

Is it possible to arrange a ceremony earlier than the next scheduled citizenship ceremony?

Urgent or private ceremonies are available through the DIBP.  These types of ceremonies are reserved for candidates who require conferral of their Australian citizenship due to extenuating circumstances. Any candidates requiring a private ceremony must contact the DIBP to obtain an Urgent Ceremony Request form.  Completed forms must be submitted to the DIBP along with supporting evidence. The DIBP is the approving authority and will assess each situation to determine whether a private/urgent ceremony is to be provided.

How long does the citizenship ceremony take?

The citizenship ceremony usually takes about 30-45 minutes. 

Where are the ceremonies held?

Ceremonies are usually held in the afternoon at:

The Shire of Esperance Administration Building (Chambers)

Windich Street

Esperance WA 6450

What do I need to bring with me to the ceremony?

You must supply proof of identification in the form of photographic evidence such as driver’s license, passport or another official document which includes a photograph.  If you do not have photographic identification you will need to bring at least three documents with your name, address and signature such as credit cards, bills and bank statements. If you do not have sufficient proof of identification, you will be unable to register and therefore unable to attend your ceremony.  A further ceremony date will be offered when the correct photographic evidence is available.

As enrolment and voting is compulsory for all Australians how do I enrol so that I am eligible to vote?

There will be Australian Election Commission (AEC) application form available at your ceremony and you will be required to complete one of these forms.

What Pledge am I taking? What is the difference between Pledge 1 and Pledge 2?

There are two Pledges, one that mentions God (oath) and one that does not (affirmation). You would have nominated which Pledge you are making when you filled out your application form at the DIBP. The DIBP advise us of your nominated Pledge when they send us the candidate names. You will receive your nominated Pledge on a Pledge card when you attend your ceremony.  If you are making an oath, you are welcome to bring a holy book of your choice to make your Pledge on.

  • Pledge 1 - Oath: From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.
  • Pledge 2 - Affirmation: From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.

May I bring guests along?

Yes. Candidates are welcome to invite family and friends to attend their ceremony.

What is the dress code?

Smart attire is requested.

Can I take photographs?

You are welcome to bring your own cameras and Shire staff will ask for your permission to take an official photograph to use on our social media page.  Further photographs with the Presiding Officer can be requested after the formalities are concluded. 

I have lost my citizenship certificate, what should I do?

The Shire of Esperance cannot re-issue or replace citizenship certificates. You will need to contact the DIBP on 131 880 to arrange a replacement certificate. Further information is available via the DIBP web link listed below.

Do children need to attend citizenship ceremonies?

Children aged 16 years and over are legally required to attend a ceremony and take the citizenship pledge to become an Australian citizen. Children under the age of 16 are not legally required to take the citizenship pledge, however they are welcome to attend the ceremony and are encouraged to take the citizenship pledge with their parents or guardian where possible.

When can I apply for an Australian passport?

You must attend a ceremony and receive your citizenship certificate before you can apply for an Australian passport. The original certificate will be needed when applying for the passport. For more information about Australian passports please see the Australian Passport Office website or call 131 232.

For further queries relating to your citizenship ceremony please call (08) 9071 0666 or email

Obtaining your Australian citizenship

For information on eligibility and how to apply to be an Australian citizen please contact the DIBP on13 18 80 or visit their website.