WELLINGTON Shire has welcomed 18 new citizens, as people from across the globe swore their loyalty to Australia at a ceremony in Sale last week.
Lynsey Angel, formerly of the United Kingdom, Victor Ng, Hong Kong, Billy, Kiano, Kristofer and Maria Valdez, all of the Philippines, Elizabeth Nicholas, the Philippines, Kim Ngoc Pham, Vietnam, Hayley Baxter, Germany, Tamlyn, Miles, Alethea and Benedict Leendertz, all formerly of South Africa, Carolyn, Damaris, Luke, Maria and Samuel Holmes, who immigrated from the United Kingdom, all formally became Australian citizens in front of a supportive crowd of friends and family.
Mayor Peter Cleary officially welcomed the citizens to their new home country.
“You are about to undertake a new allegiance, and with that comes a new responsibility,” Cr Cleary said.
“Being an Australian citizen is a status of which you may be very, very proud.
“Our country will surely gain a lot by you all becoming members of our nation.”
The new citizens were each gifted with a native sapling to plant, as a symbol of their new lives in Australia.
For Victor Ng, formally receiving his citizenship meant he finally felt he was part of his community.
“It’s so good to finally be recognised officially as part of my community after 12 years in this country,” he said.
“It meant a lot to have my friends here with me today, since my family is overseas still.
“I intend to honour all Australia’s values — starting with a barbecue!”