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A woman and boy holding plants and certificates.

Citizenship ceremonies with a difference

Wednesday 22 July

East Gippsland’s newest citizens had a different Citizenship Ceremony than previous participants, with social distancing requirements creating a unique experience for the 18 conferees.


East Gippsland Shire Council held two ceremonies on Tuesday, July 14 and one on Tuesday, July 21 with six conferees part of each ceremony. Unfortunately, conferees could only invite one guest each due to the restrictions on numbers.


Council live streams its Citizenship Ceremonies so people can watch live from anywhere in the world, or later on council’s YouTube channel.


The region’s new citizens hail from Singapore, Scotland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Italy, Philippines, England, Pakistan and Canada.


Mayor Cr John White officiated the scaled back ceremonies.


“In order to practice social distancing and protect the health of guests and our staff our Citizenship Ceremonies were slightly different this time,” Cr White said.


“People weren’t able to bring their friends and family and the celebratory morning tea could not be held. However, becoming an Australian citizen is a milestone event and I am sure each of our new citizens marked the occasion in their own way.”


Council can usually accommodate up to 24 conferees at a single ceremony and generally holds four citizenship ceremonies each year. Recordings of the ceremonies are available on council’s YouTube channel ‘EastGippyTV’.


 Gary Hagley formerly of England, with his Australian Citizenship certificate and gift.


Pictured with Mayor Cr John White are Rudi Rosli, Ediya Rosli, Sharmila Sharif and Rosli Mohamed Shairi. Formerly of Singapore, the family now calls Bairnsdale home.


Bemm River local Christine Pardew celebrated becoming an Australian citizen with husband Russell.


 Jai Kaushik from India became an Australian citizen last week.


Rafaela villa Dominguez, who hails from Mexico, now lives in East Gippsland.


Monthatip and Thanathip Thabtimthong from Thailand pictured with Mayor Cr John White after collecting their native plant during the ceremony.


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