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The Whitsunday region today welcomed 22 new Australian citizens at a special citizenshipceremony as part of Australian Citizenship Day 2014 celebrations.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jenny Whitney said originally from 12 countries, including the Philippines, India, USA, Poland and Zambia, the group of 22 people officially became Australian citizens as part of today’s ceremony at the Proserpine Council Chambers.
“Today was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of citizenship as a common bondstrengthening the local community,” she said.
“Every year, Australian Citizenship Day is a chance for us to welcome our newest citizens and also remind ourselves of the rights and privileges of Australian citizenship.
“An Australian citizenship ceremony celebrates the final stage of someone’s migrant journey andrepresents their ongoing commitment to their adopted country and to Australian values.
“We warmly welcome these 22 new Australians also as new Whitsunday citizens,” she said.Deputy Mayor Andrew Willcox conducted today’s ceremony due to Mayor Jenny Whitney attending the DestinationQ Forum on the Sunshine Coast.
This year, more than 280 citizenship ceremonies, arranged by local councils and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be staged around Australia throughout September to celebrate Australian Citizenship Day, with around 13 500 people set to become Australian citizens as part of this special occasion.
Australian Citizenship Day has been celebrated on September 17 since 2001, to provide anoccasion for individuals, schools, community groups and organisations to celebrate and valueAustralian citizenship.
It is particularly significant this year as the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship is celebrated.
The newest Australians in the Whitsunday region join more than four and a half million others who have chosen to become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949.
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