Hobart City Council To Move Date Of Citizenship Ceremonies
“It's divisive in and of itself”
Hobart City Council has narrowly carried a motion to move citizenship ceremonies away from Australia Day.
The changes will come into effect from 2024 following a debate among elected members which also included a suggestion to lobby for a referendum on changing the date of Australia Day.
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Passed on a one-vote majority, the move comes after a call of “shame” from the public gallery and rejections of racism accusations.
Hobart councillor Ryan Posselt said the council could help "lead the conversation" on Australia Day.
"A change of the date will mean the entirety of the community can get behind it. At the moment, our First Nations people — Aboriginal Australians — can't get behind it, and it's divisive in and of itself," he said.
"What sort of celebration is it if we can't celebrate together?
"Running celebratory events that expressly exclude the rightful custodians of this land is detrimental to social cohesion and healing moving forward."
The previous Federal Government had removed councils’ power of holding citizenship ceremonies if they weren’t held on January 26, however the Albanese government last month revoked this.
The revision is expected to see other councils across the country follow suit – with the City of Sydney moving also moving its ceremony date to January 27.
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