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Mayors Message - 31 January 2023

Mayors Message - 31 January 2023

Tuesday 31 January 2023
Cr Michael Whelan

Citizenship ceremonies are very special occasions and remind us all how lucky we are to be living in Australia, and especially here on our beautiful Bass Coast.

Last week I was privileged and proud to welcome 30 new citizens as they embarked on a new and exciting chapter in their lives.

It is great to be a part of this joyful day. People from many countries united in their shared wish to be Australian citizens. I am proud to be able to be the host of this special event.

Over the course of 2022 citizenship ceremonies in January, May and October Bass Coast formally welcomed 112 new Australians who were born in India, Cambodia, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, Philippines, Hungary, Romania, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, France, China and Scotland.

There are always many tears and I challenge anyone who attends not to be touched emotionally by the joyous scenes of people from many countries united in their shared wish to be Australian citizens.

The overwhelming feeling of the recipients of Australian citizenship is genuine and sincere gratitude.

For those of us who were born in Australia we can sometimes take it for granted, but our newest Australians never take it for granted. They have chosen Australia to begin a new life in a new permanent home because they see a bright future here.

In some cases they are fleeing countries where they were born for a better life for their themselves and their family. They want to feel safe and Bass Coast formally welcoming them and wrapping our collective arms around them is an important part of their journey.

The contribution of these new Australians to Bass Coast this generation and in future generations will be immense and reinforce that we are one of the most successful – if not the most successful – multicultural country in the world in the world.

They remind us that we are indeed a fortunate Country.