20 August, 2020
Proud new Aussies sing their praises
Eleven individuals from seven countries are Australia’s newest residents following today’s Citizenship Ceremony, the first conducted by Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor, Mark Nolan.
The newly naturalised citizens have settled in the Cassowary Coast from Italy, Philippines, South Africa, Scotland, United Kingdom, Indonesia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Held at the Innisfail Shire Hall under social distancing guidelines, the ceremony reflected a sign of post-COVID times with the traditional ‘Aussie’ handshake omitted from the ceremony.
Mayor Nolan welcomed the new residents and offered a warm congratulations for choosing the Cassowary Coast as their home.
“International migrants have played a vital role to the Cassowary Coast throughout our history, and we continue to benefit from their valuable contributions to our industry and culture into the future,” he said.
“I extend our warmest welcome to our eleven new citizens who I’m sure will make the most of the bountiful opportunities which our region presents.”
Refrigeration Mechanic Recky Bartolay and his two eldest sons Migel (13) and Jacob (9) were among today’s new citizens.
“We moved to Tully from the Philippines six years ago under a skilled migrant visa and never wanted to move back,” said Mr Bartolay whose wife Rossana and baby son Patrick are already Australian citizens.
“I love the Cassowary Coast’s beaches and nature, this is our life now and it’s a beautiful place to live.”
Conducted under social distancing guidelines, the new Australian citizens repeated their pledge of citizenship before being handed certificates and a Golden Penda sapling, the floral emblem of the Cassowary Coast, before uniting as a whole to sing the National Anthem.
Today’s ceremony is the first to be held in the Cassowary Coast since Australia Day due to public gathering restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council ordinarily hosts a number of Citizenship Ceremonies each year for residents who have applied to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for Australian citizenship.
For more information visit Council’s website or phone 1300 763 903.