Smiles all round at Citizenship Ceremony

City of Port Phillip
A hundred Port Phillip residents from 31 nations became Australian citizens on Australia Day at the St Kilda Town Hall.

One of the most joyous events on our Council's official calendar, there were plenty of smiles at the ceremony, officiated by Mayor Marcus Pearl.

Five of the conferees, who were unable to attend, became citizens in an online ceremony.

The conferees at the Town Hall received a native plant - and a delicious lamington - after the ceremony.

Drashta Kapadia, her husband Mukulanand and their 11-year-old daughter Nancy arrived in St Kilda from India in 2011.

Drashta said: "It was our destiny. Port Phillip is a very friendly place and it's wonderful to live near the beach.

"Nancy enjoys school and we have all made many new friends.

"Becoming an Australian citizen means everything. We are so happy, there's no words to describe it. Port Phillip is our home now," she said.

Fellow conferee and engineer Arlen Mendez Martinez also now calls St Kilda home.

She left Mexico three years ago and was excited about becoming an Australian citizen.

"I love living near the beach and the people here are so nice and welcoming to 'outsiders'.

"I think Port Phillip's a great place to live.

"I am pretty excited about today. Becoming an Australian citizen is very important to me."

Arlen receiving her Australian citizenship.

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