Almost 15 months to the day, that we originally applied for our Australian citizenship, we were invited in to the Home Affairs office for our official interview and exam. We were advised the process would take approximately 2 hours at their downtown Melbourne location. My husband and I went in together as the kids were asked not to attend. Strangely (I thought) we were not interviewed together and each were assigned a separate case worker.
The interview itself was pretty straightforward. My case worker, Kunjal, wanted to see our passports and verify the details. She went through all of our other identity documents with a fine toothed comb: marriage certificates, birth certificates and utility invoices (for proof of residence). She then advised me that once I take the exam and pass, that a police check would be run to make sure I was a worthy applicant. 😉 After that, I would be approved instantly. The next part, waiting to take the offical oath as a citizen could be anywhere from 6-12 months from now.
I parted ways with Kunjal and entered the exam room. The room had many cubicles with dated looking computers. I logged in with my unique testing code and began the short test of 20 questions. Simple ones like what are the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, who can serve on a jury, and who can be elected as a government minister? Needless to say, I passed – thanks to the Our Common Bond podcast and booklet. The offical government study guide made the test a piece of cake!
By the time I took the lift down to the ground floor and walked across the street to my car, I had my congratulatory letter from the Australian government that I had been approved for citizenship! Yahoo! From start to finish this process today took maybe one hour.
Some fun facts about Australia from their citizenship guide:
- Only 3% of the population is made up of indigenous Australians and these people (Aborigine and Torres Strait Islanders) were not even included in population census records until 1967. Prior to that they didn’t officially count! 90% of the citizens voted in a referendum to include them and to amend the constitution.
- Australians value “mateship” – we help each other in times of need.
- Our head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.
- The Governor General is appointed to represent the Queen here in Australia. They are a neutral party and serve mostly in a ceremonial role. The Governor General is also the Commander in Chief of the Australian Defense Force.
- Above all, always obey the law! Protest, as long as you obey the law; Radios and newspaper can say what they wish, as long as they obey the law; Join religious or political groups freely, just remember to obey the law.