Gunnedah Shire Council has welcomed three new citizens, at a special ceremony held on Australian Citizenship Day (September 17).
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey and Deputy Mayor Gae Swain performed the ceremony, welcoming Karen Crumbley, of United Kingdom, Jill Fulwood, of Britain and Lesley Idzerda, of Britain.
Cr Chaffey outlined the duties and responsibilities of the new citizens as they took a pledge to uphold Australian values.
“I am proud to be authorised as a person who may conduct this citizenship ceremony on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia. This is a very significant honour in the role of a Mayor,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Our ceremony recognises that citizenship is a common bond made meaningful because it embraces an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all people.
“Your decision to accept Australian citizenship is a public recognition of your commitment to Australia and your family.”
Cr Swain said that choosing to embrace Australian values publicly was a significant decision made by the new citizens.
“Our three new citizens are what I call ABCs; Australians by choice. This is not something most Australians get to choose and makes your decision all the more special,” Cr Swain said.
Gunnedah Shire Council gifted the new citizens with native trees to mark the occasion.
Cr Chaffey was pleased to welcome the new citizens and acknowledged many of their friends and family who were present to mark the special occasion.
“The importance of holding this ceremony is to celebrate our multiculturalism, which makes us more aware and resilient as a community,” Cr Chaffey said.
“In the words of our new Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, The Hon David Coleman, ‘it’s now your responsibility to join us in building an even stronger nation’.”
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