Almost 600 people from 59 countries around the world are ready to call Australia home and will receive their citizenship at Brisbane’s biggest citizenship ceremony this Sunday
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will preside over the City Hall Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and said it was a great Brisbane tradition that enhanced the city’s vibrant multiculturalism.
“For some people, receiving their Australian citizenship is one of the greatest days of their life and I’m honoured to be a part of that,” Cr Schrinner said.
“I am the son of an immigrant. My father came to Australia after going through World War II and the day he became an Australian citizen was one of his proudest moments, so this special event is dear to my heart.
“The joy of Brisbane is its diversity and acceptance of all cultures, races, religions and lifestyles. We have residents from more than 200 countries, and I’m proud to be able to welcome 594 new citizens from across the globe at the special Australia Day ceremony.
“Each new citizen brings with them vibrant culture, backgrounds, stories and experiences that build our city’s diversity and enrich our community.
“One of the most heart-warming sights at citizenship ceremonies is the number of people who arrive in full national dress and bring along all their family and friends.
“The true essence of Australia Day is uniting to celebrate and remember all the historical events, be they good or bad, that formed this country. There is a lot of work to do to make it better, but engaging with the Indigenous and multi-cultural communities, listening, respecting each other and working together is a good start.”
Among the new citizens, Brisbane is welcoming 101 people from the United Kingdom, 71 from India, 70 from China and 41 from South Africa,
They include the Rhoda family from Mansfield, who have been calling Brisbane home for 14 years and will officially receive their citizenship on Sunday.
The ceremony will feature the Royal Australian Navy Band Queensland, Australian Girls’ Choir and the Nunukul Yuggera Dance Troupe will conduct a traditional Welcome to Country and fire lighting ceremony.
Cr Schrinner said Brisbane was the best place to be on Australia Day, with celebrations right across the city
“Australia Day at South Bank is always popular, and residents and visitors can enjoy free live music during the day at River Quay Green and a colourful fireworks display that will start at 7.30pm,” he said.
“With more than 2100 parks and 1000 barbecues, Brisbane residents can also celebrate the day with a barbecue in the park or cool off at one of Council’s 22 pools.
“We’re also continuing our Australia Day tradition and will be celebrating local heroes as part of the Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Awards.
“These awards recognise everyday people who do extraordinary things to make Brisbane an even better place to live and I look forward to sharing the winners, including Citizen of the Year Award, with everyone at a ceremony tonight.”
The event will be hosted by special guests ABC Breakfast show hosts Loretta Ryan and Craig Zonca.
For a full list of Council’s events, parks and facilities visit Council’s website at www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.