City welcomes new Australians
MORE than sixty people became certified Australian citizens during a ceremony at Town Hall on Wednesday last week.
The event saw migrants from more than 20 countries pledge their commitment to Australia with City of Greater Bendigo mayor Andrea Metcalf presiding over the event.
Mashud Khan, originally from Pakistan, was one of the newly-recognised citizens, and said it was “exciting” to become part of the nation.
“This is the culmination of a long journey and it’s been very worthwhile. It’s a great day and doing it in the Town Hall makes it even more special,” he said.
“My sister moved to Australia before me in 2016 and would talk about how great it is. The lifestyle and balance between nature.
“I came here for Christmas and fell in love with it. I moved to Bendigo in 2019 and now work at Don in Castlemaine. Regional Australia’s just home for me and Bendigo’s the perfect place for it.
“The citizenship process is one that you really have to be patient with. I applied in late 2020 and it’s been well worth the wait.”
Cr Metcalf said the evening was all about celebrating the country’s new Bendigo-based citizens.
“They’ve gone through the journey through the Federal Government, everything’s signed off and tonight’s the final step in the process,” she said.
“Our census data tells us our multicultural groups are growing. About 12 or 13 per cent of our residents are either born overseas or their parents have been.
“It’s certainly a growth in community for us. We were the first local government to be accredited as a welcoming city so we’re very happy to be part of these ceremonies.
“They’re always such joyous occasions.”