Ninety people have become Australian citizens after taking part in a ceremony at Shepparton.JOHN LEWIS April 9, 2014 3:55am
Shepparton’s Eastbank Centre echoed to the trilling voices of Africa and shouts of ‘‘Go Australia, go’’ yesterday morning as new Australian citizens were welcomed in the first of three ceremonies to be held across two days.
Ninety new citizens took the oath of Australian citizenship, before accepting certificates and being welcomed by City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan.
Shepparton’s newest Australian citizens come from 16 countries — Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, India, Philippines, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Albania, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Sudan, China, Pakistan, Egypt and Thailand.
Cr Houlihan said citizenship ceremonies were held about every two months, and were always treated as a day of great importance by those taking part.
‘‘You can see by the way people dress that it’s a special day for them,’’ she said.
Among those taking the pledge of loyalty to Australia yesterday were Nickel Mundabi and his wife Gertrude.
The couple arrived in Australia in 2009 with two children Jesmira, 8, and Christian 6.
They now have a 20-month-old son, Jovhani — born in Australia.
‘‘It’s a big day for us. I feel very good. To become Australian means I am free,’’ Mr Mundabi said.
A painter and wood carver, Mr Mundabi said he was forced to flee civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He spent eight years as a refugee in Cameroon before arriving in Australia.
‘‘I feel free to participate here — and free to vote,’’ he said.
Also becoming Australian citizens yesterday were cousins Ranbir and Harpreet Singh, who work in Shepparton as car mechanics, and bus driver Harmeet Singh — all from Punjab in north India.
‘‘Everyone here is so friendly, it is very multicultural. Australia is a great place to be,’’ Harmeet said.
With fresh uniforms and bright new shoes, children across the Goulburn Valley prepared to take their first steps into primary school today.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Offal exports from Tongala look to be one of the winners under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.
Students across the district will return to school this week as a fresh batch of nervous preps and parents alike prepare for the daunting prospect.
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Locals were entertained by the Nagambie Larks choir and the local line dancers.
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Hundreds of people from across Victoria flocked to the inaugural Tooby Booby Festival to help raise money for breast cancer research on Sunday.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
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From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
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