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13 March 2007
Teresa Gambaro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, will welcome 613 new Australian citizens in a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.
The fresh Aussies hail from over 50 countries.
"It demonstrates a commitment to the key principles that unite us all such as respect for the rule of law, support for parliamentary democracy, and the desire to strengthen Australia's unique brand of freedom and openness by participating fully in our community."
Immigration has been a source of contention in recent Australian political discourse.
When Amanda Vanstone, former Immigration Minister, was sacked during a parliamentary shuffle, her department received a name-change ... dropping the "Multicultural Affairs" in favor or "Citizenship". Some perceived it part of as Prime Minister John Howard's desire to reign in the amount of Muslim immigration.
Related: Australian Prime Minister defends citizenship test and "mateship"