Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Last week’s wet weather did not deter more than 20 community members who officially became permanent Australian residents in a citizenship ceremony at Mount Gambier City Hall.

The 22 new Australian citizens hailed from across the world including Brazil, India, Malawi, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM presided over the ceremony and welcomed the crowd which included honoured citizens, their family and friends and local dignitaries.

In attendance was Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Development and Forestry Clare Scriven MLC, Ben Hood MLC, Migrant Resource Centre manager Amanda Lindh, City of Mount Gambier chief executive Sarah Philpott and Councillors Josh Lynagh and Paul Jenner.

Mayor Martin administered Australian Citizen Pledge 1 and 2 and presented certificates of Australian Citizenship to the 22 new citizens.

The National Anthem was sung by Alison Newman and Mr Hood spoke about how proud he was to welcome the new Australian citizens.

From July 1, 2023, New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for four years or more were eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship.

New Zealander Collin Wayne Brownie, 72, was one of the citizens to take advantage of the new law and became a permanent Australian citizen at the ceremony.

Mr Brownie came to Mount Gambier on holiday in 1984 and never left, meeting his wife of 33 years nine months into his trip.

Mr Brownie said he was told his residency had been approved the day of his wife’s unfortunate passing in February this year.

“I just thought it was the right thing to do for her. She would be so proud,” he said.

“I am pretty proud to be called an Australian. I feel like I am an Australian.

“It is a big honour.

“I love the Australian way of life; if you want something work hard for it and enjoy life to the best. It is very special, I feel very proud.

“I have lived here all my life and now I get to vote. Mount Gambier is my forever home.

“It was made a bit easier 12 months ago by the Prime Minister but it has always been in the back of my mind to be an Australian citizen and be able to vote because I am very interested in politics.”

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