Six people were sworn in as new Australian citizens during a special citizenship ceremony at Moree Plains Shire Council on Thursday, September 14.
Grant Van Rooyen from the United Kingdom, Vasif Abdul Latheef from India, Sandy, Jennifer and James Erlank from South Africa, and Xuan Nguyen from Vietnam took the pledge to become Australian citizens in front of family and friends.
Jennifer Erlank said it’s proud day for her and her family, who have been in Australia for five years.
Jennifer and James Erlank were thrilled to become Australian citizens today. pic.twitter.com/eTO5Bhozb2— MoreeChampion (@MoreeChampion) September 14, 2017
“We’re proud to be citizens today, it’s taken us a long time to get here,” she said.
“We have a much safer environment here, freedom of speech and it’s just a nice place to be.”
Hosting a citizenship ceremony is one of the key highlights for Cr Katrina Humphries in her role as mayor and she welcomed the new Australian’s who hail from India, South Africa, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Our newest Australian citizens affirm their loyalty to Australia at a citizenship ceremony today. pic.twitter.com/hBLKYwA5AR— MoreeChampion (@MoreeChampion) September 14, 2017
“I am very proud to welcome you all to Moree Plains and into our rich and diverse community,” she said.
“Today’s ceremony is an important opportunity for all Australians, whether they are citizens by birth or by pledge, to come together to acknowledge what’s great about Australia and being Australian.”
Cr Humphries presented the conferee’s with copy of council’s coffee table book ‘In Plain View’ and a native tree as symbols of new beginnings, new experiences and for a prosperous, happy and fruitful life in Australia.
Our newest Aussies sing the national anthem during today's citizenship ceremony. pic.twitter.com/TowU4I1gUz— MoreeChampion (@MoreeChampion) September 14, 2017
The ceremony comes just before Australian Citizenship Day which is celebrated annually on September 17 as part of the anniversary of the renaming of the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 to the Australian Citizenship Act 1948.
Australian Citizenship Day provides an opportunity for all Australians to take pride in their citizenship and to reflect on the meaning and importance of being Australian.