Prime Minister Tony Abbott has wrapped up the official citizenship ceremony in Canberra having his photograph taken with a group of enthusiastic new Aussies.

南宁桑拿

Mr Abbott presided as 25 people from 15 countries pledged allegiance to Australia at the national Australia Day citizenship ceremony, and presented them with their certificates.

Around Australia, almost 16,000 people from 152 countries became Australian citizens at 333 similar ceremonies.

“All of you have voted quite literally with your feet for Australia. Your lives will be the better for your decision and our lives and our country will be the better for your decision,” Mr Abbott said.

The 25 in Canberra were delighted – and at least one has big ambitions.

“I was introduced to the concept of the Australian of the Year. I was truly fascinated and inspired that … the people decide to honour extraordinary people,” said Netherlands-born meteorologist Pierre Kemmers.

“Since then, I have set my ambition to become, one day – I’m not sure for what – Australian of the Year. This is my first essential step.”

Chinese-born lawyer Eric Liu told Mr Abbott one of the nicest things he’s likely to hear all day.

“I told the prime minister he looks very dashing, even in person,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Abbott praised new Australian figureheads, starting with Australian of the Year anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, whose son Luke was murdered by her ex-husband in 2014.

“We know Rosie that you still mourn. We know that you still grieve. Yet we know that you still strive to build a better Australia and will do so every day for the rest of your life.”

He said Australia Day was an occasion to “rededicate ourselves to our great national cause … building a better, fairer, stronger and more prosperous Australia.

“It’s a day where we commit ourselves to be more than just beneficiaries of our country’s bounty, but to be contributors as well.”

More controversially, he praised Prince Philip, one of two prominent figures he’s honoured with a knighthood in the Order of Australia. The other is former defence chief Angus Houston.

“I particularly acknowledge Prince Philip for his long life of duty and service and I salute Sir Angus Houston,” he said.