Rockhampton welcomes 21 new citizens
Ely Harvey came to Australia from the Philippines seven years ago.
Today she became a citizen.
“I’m happy for the support provided and I feel fortunate here to be Australian,” she said.
“It’s very nice. Lovely people and I love the food. I want to be a citizen so that I’m secured, I belong to the people.”
Ms Harvey and 20 others were the stars of Rockhampton’s citizenship ceremony at Kershaw Gardens on Tuesday afternoon.
Rockhampton councillors and Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry guided the ceremony to its conclusion – a rendition of Advance Australia Fair by Cr Donna Kirkland, and shouts of “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” from acting mayor Neil Fisher.
“The number of nationalities and nations that they’ve come from to become Australian citizens is as diverse as you could expect,” Cr Fisher said.
“It shows how much Rockhampton really is such a multicultural community. I think that’s something we all take pride in and I’d like to think moving forward we’ll see more and more interaction with our various community groups.
“I think that’s actually going to make the Rockhampton region and Central Queensland as a whole a much richer place.”
He said next year’s celebrations would be back at the Heritage Village and he hoped the citizenship and award ceremonies would remain combined in the same event.
“I always think Australia Day is something special,” Cr Fisher said.
“My grandfather, when Australia finally accepted Australian citizenship which was after World War II, I think in the late ’40s, it was something very, very special. He used to always talk about the point there that he officially had an Australian passport.
“We’re all as one, we’re all Australians. We all have that passport, that membership of the greatest country in the world.”