East Gippsland’s newest citizens have been officially welcomed at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony held in Bairnsdale on Friday, January 26.
The 18 conferees from Britain, Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Malta and India formally pledged their commitment to Australia in front of a large crowd of more than 60 family and friends at St Mary’s Parish Centre.
East Gippsland Shire Council Deputy Mayor Cr Jane Greacen OAM said citizenship ceremonies are special occasions for all involved.
“It is a momentous occasion for families and friends, as well as the conferees, who have chosen Australia as the place they want to call home,” Cr Greacen said.
“Becoming a citizen shows your commitment to Australia, its people, our shared values, and our future together, and it is also about Australia’s commitment to you,” Cr Greacen said.
“Our new citizens come from diverse backgrounds and ages. Some have been part of East Gippsland or elsewhere in Australia for a long time, while others have recently moved to our wonderful country.
Council holds three citizenship ceremonies each year. Attending a citizenship ceremony is the final step in the journey to become an Australian citizen.
Conferees received a certificate, citizenship coin, and a gift from Council in the form of a native plant.
The ceremony fulfils the requirements under Australian citizenship law.
The ceremony was livestreamed so family and friends from across the world could watch the special occasion.
The ceremony can be viewed on Council’s YouTube channel.
A gallery of photographs from the ceremony can be viewed on our Citizenship page.