Australia Day a chance to reflect on options that State and nation can offer [Audio]

26/01/2000 9:30 AM

    Australia Day is an excellent opportunity for all Western Australians to think about the terrific opportunities that our State and our nation has to offer.

    Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Rob Johnson told an Australia Day breakfast at the City of Joondalup that opportunities for Australians were limitless.

    “As a migrant myself I have a strong belief in citizenship, as does the State Government,” Mr Johnson said.

    “When I first arrived in Australia I had no idea that I would become the mayor of the largest city in the State in four years, a Member of Parliament in less than five and a Minister of the Crown in less than 12 years.”

    The Minister said there was more to citizenship than holding a passport or certificate.

    “Citizenship is all about getting involved in community activities, whether it is helping out your children’s sporting club or volunteering your time to help people less fortunate than yourself,” Mr Johnson said.

    “The Office of Citizenship and Multicultural Interests is working on a strategy on citizenship which will identify practical ways to be better, more active citizens.

    “These include the feeling of belonging in our communities and understanding our democracy and playing an active part in it.”

    The Minister said 28 per cent of Western Australians were born overseas and more than 50 per cent had at least one parent born overseas.

    “Citizenship shifts the focus from race, background or where people were born to making sure they can be involved in a fair, equal, civil and culturally diverse society,” Mr Johnson said.

    The Minister congratulated the many hundreds of people who chose today to become Australian citizens.

    Media contact : Mike Groves 9481 3244

    "Well certainly it doesn't just mean the active process of becoming a citizen, we see it as a much broader issue." [791KB/18secs]

    "For me it's a time when you reflect on your life in Australia. This day means such a lot to me." [520KB/12secs]