Hornsby Shire Council hosts landmark 1000th Citizenship Ceremony

Hornsby Shire Council

group in front of building with Australian flag

23 people from six countries took the pledge to become Australian citizens as Hornsby Shire Council hosted its 1000th Citizenship Ceremony this morning at 10.15am.

Today's landmark occasion brought the total number of citizens welcomed at Hornsby to 43,337, since councils began performing the ceremonies in 1954.

Among those who became citizens were Daljeet and Mandeep Barmi of Waitara who came to Australia from India with their daughter Ashnoor (10) to get away from the violence and have a better life for their family.

"Australia is a very peaceful and family orientated country, full of equal opportunity. We love living here and are so excited to become citizens today," said Daljeet.

Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock has overseen 4,705 people in 153 ceremonies since he entered office in 2017.

"It always gives me great pleasure to welcome new citizens to our beautiful and diverse shire. These events are such joyous occasions, and I am proud that our new Australians have chosen to call Hornsby Shire their home. The rich variety of their countries of origin contribute so much to our community and help to make it the vibrant and welcoming place we all enjoy," said Mayor Ruddock.

Over the last decade, Hornsby Shire has welcomed people from almost 100 countries, with the top three countries of origin currently being India, China and the UK.

Uncle Neil Evers, GuriNgai Custodian, talked about the significance of Welcoming to Country and how special it is to be the first to greet new Australians.

"It's always a pleasure to welcome people to this Country and it is encouraging that Hornsby Shire Council prioritise a welcome from Aboriginal people to the new citizens."

The Hornsby branch of the Country Women's Association of NSW has been a staple of Hornsby Shire Council Citizenship Ceremonies for nearly two decades, serving tea, their world-famous scones and friendly smiles to ceremony goers.

"The Hornsby branch of the Country Women's Association of NSW is honoured to be involved in these special occasions to greet new citizens to our Shire. We enjoy working with Council to welcome these families as they begin their journey as Australians," President Lyn Braico said.

Hornsby Shire Council conducts around four citizen ceremonies each month. Over the past two years, Council has adapted to changing circumstances, with ceremonies held online, in different locations – including outdoors at Hornsby Park for Australia Day this year – and in modified formats to ensure the consistent induction of our new Australians.

For this 1000th ceremony, it was fitting to be able to hold this at our ceremonial home at Council Chambers.

In addition to their certificates, at each ceremony Council presents new citizens with a welcome pack containing a native plant, an Australian coin, information about Members of Parliament within our Shire and special goodies for children.

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