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Tag Archives: Rhodes Scholar

Why did Tony Abbott wait until he was almost 24 years old to become an Australian citizen?

Image courtesy of ausopinion.com

Image courtesy of ausopinion.com

There are a few questions about Tony Abbott’s citizenship that need answering, writes clarencegirl in this guest post.

When Anthony John Abbott was born to an English father and a first-generation Australian mother at a general lying-in hospital in York Road, Lambeth, London, on 4 November 1957, his parents did not register him as an Australian infant born overseas or immediately apply for Australian citizenship on his behalf.

Presumably because at that time Richard and Fay Abbott thought they would be permanently living in England and raising a family there.

He therefore had only one official nationality status – as a British subject and citizen.

In fact it was not until over twenty years after the family had arrived in Australia as subsidised assisted migrants that Tony Abbott’s parents applied to register his birth with the Dept. of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and apply for his citizenship, in a document/s dated 19 June 1981.

This application appears to have been treated as urgent by departmental staff.

His parents were subsequently informed in a letter dated 1 July 1981 that Anthony John Abbott was now deemed to be an Australian citizen under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 which allowed citizenship by descent.

At this time Tony Abbott was 23 years and 7 months of age and, had either applied for a Rhodes Scholarship or was intending to apply for this scholarship to study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Currently such applications must be applied for after 1 June in the year a Rhodes Scholarship is on offer.

To gain a Rhodes Scholarship an applicant has to be an Australian citizen and have been resident in Australia for at least five of the last ten years.

Tony Abbott was apparently intending to depart Australia on or about 10 July 1981 and, started his scholarship course at Queens College, Oxford, in October 1981.

One cannot escape the suspicion that the future Prime Minister of Australia only applied for Australian citizenship at that time in order to gain a monetary advantage which would allow him to further his studies overseas.

Which, if true, would make him a somewhat reluctant Aussie and perhaps go some way to explaining his strong admiration of the British monarchy and those anachronistic English titles he has re-introduced (without consultation with Cabinet or party room) into the Australian honours system.

Note: Immigration and citizenship information found at the National Archives of Australia.

This article was first published on North Coast Voices under the title The real reasons Anthony John ‘Tony’ Abbott waited until he was almost 24 years old to become an Australian citizen? and has been republished with permission.

 

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