East Gippsland welcomes newest citizens

East Gippsland has welcomed 12 new Aussies at a citizenship ceremony held this morning, coinciding with Australian Citizenship Day – Friday, September 17.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Australian Citizenship Day and East Gippsland has a successful history of welcoming people from allover the world as new citizens.

Staged at the St Mary’s Parish Centre in Bairnsdale, 12 people from five different nations took the pledge to become Australian citizens.

Deputy Mayor Cr Mark Reeves, who presided over this morning’s official ceremony, said it was wonderful to see everyone wanting to officially call Australia home.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we could only have a small group attend to take the pledge today. However, the significance of becoming Australian citizens was not lost on those present, and to mark it on Australian Citizenship Day was quite special,” Cr Reeves said.

“We welcomed new citizens from America, England, India, Scotland and Thailand who have demonstrated their desire to embrace our community and bring add yet another rich layer of diversity and culture to East Gippsland.

“As a community we will continue to be enriched by these people as they share their customs, traditions and cultures with us, and as we share Australian and East Gippsland traditions with them,” Cr Reeves said.

“Being involved in a citizenship ceremony is always a great occasion, and honour, and I wish all our new citizens every happiness and success.

Council will host an extra citizenship ceremony in November to support those impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Today’s ceremony was livestreamed and can be viewed on Council’s YouTube channel ‘EastGippyTV’.

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