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.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
TRUCKtalk magazine all the rage with local truck drivers.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
An unknown sum of money was stolen from Benalla Golf Club this morning after thieves broke into its gaming room.
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