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27 August, 2021

Welcome to new Australians in Cairns

CAIRNS has welcomed hundreds of new Aussies as part of the largest citizenship event ever hosted by the city.

New citizen Suchila Rattanachai (second from left) with daughters Ainthira Donphraya (far left) and Phoebe Mitchell, and partner Travis Mitchell.

Staged over two ceremonies at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre this week, 340 people from 39 different nationalities took the pledge to become Australian citizens.

Deputy Mayor Terry James, who presided over this morning’s official ceremony, said it was wonderful to see so many people wanting to call Australia home.

“We would usually have about 60 to 70 people at a citizenship ceremony, so it was quite a sight to behold to have more than 300 people step forward today to take the pledge,”
Cr James said.

“Today we welcomed new citizens from five continents – North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe – who have demonstrated their desire to embrace our way of life.

“As a community we will be enriched by these people as they share their customs, traditions and cultures with us.”

Council will also host a special event at Munro Martin Parklands on 18 September for those people whose citizenship ceremonies were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Katherine Mason from Canada celebrates becoming a new Aussie citizen outside CPAC
Andrea Palumbo from Italy.

“During the past 18 months there were many people who were not able to celebrate their new citizenship in the manner we have today,” Cr James said.

“As a Council we felt that it was important that once restrictions lifted, these new citizens were offered the chance to celebrate in an appropriate manner.”

More than 600 people have been invited to the special event, which will include Australian themed food, the opportunity for people to don the traditional dress of their homeland, and special performances by the Cairns Choral Society and Cairns Young Voices.

The event will also celebrate Australian Citizenship Day, held each year on 17 September to provide an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the meaning and importance of Australian citizenship, and the responsibilities and privileges of citizens.

David Ryan with new citizen Jennifer Joslin (from Canada) and daughter Lydia.

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