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.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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