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City of Canterbury Bankstown will welcome 25 new Australian citizens in a special ceremony, held as part of Council’s Australia Day celebrations.
The new citizens from 12 different countries including Burma, Vietnam, Lebanon, England and Brazil, will be officially sworn in by City of Canterbury Bankstown on 25 January.
This latest group of 25 new citizens, who range in age from eight to 67 years old, will join a special group of Aussies who’ll celebrate the anniversary of their citizenship around Australia Day.
Rofika Bibi fled to Australia with her husband and two children in 2011 to escape the “horrible war in Burma”.
She’s since settled in Lakemba, where she’s had four more children and found solace in a close knit Rohinyan community.
While Australia Day is important to Mrs Bibi, she said she’s grateful and “happy everyday” to live in a “kind, loving and sharing country.”
Mrs Bibi will be accompanied by her husband and six children, who are all very excited to see her officially become an Aussie on Australia Day.
For Bankstown local, Thi Vo, receiving Australian Citizenship is the perfect start to 2023 she was hoping for.
“After I did the test, I was checking my email every night waiting for this day,” Mrs Vo said.
Mrs Vo settled in Bankstown after moving from Vietnam to seek more educational opportunities. She claims moving to Australia feels like being reborn.
“It’s given me a new me, a new way of thinking and new mindset.”
East Hills resident Nigel Gardener said he’s “quite chuffed” to become an Australian Citizen on Australia Day (“to put it in British terms!”)
Mr Gardener moved to Australia from Britain with his family at the age of 12; only putting off getting his citizenship due to his busy family and work schedule.
“To me, Australia Day is about family and community, and I’ll be getting together with my family for quite the gathering!” Mr Gardener said.
Mr Gardener will be joined by his partner, two children and seven grandchildren. They’re all excited about standing alongside Nigel, as he finally takes the oath.
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour said welcoming new citizens from far and wide is what Australia Day is all about.
“With every new citizen who takes the oath, our City is richer and stronger,” Mayor Asfour said.
“We’re all so lucky to live in a country where we are free to express our opinions, practice different faiths and come together to share our unique traditions, customs and culture.”
Canterbury-Bankstown’s Australia Day ambassador Graham Ross will also be welcoming the new citizens and congratulating the Australia Day Award recipients.
25/01/2023 2:07 PM