GALLERY | Douglas Shire welcomes diverse group of new Aussies
Twenty-eight new Aussies, who now call the Douglas Shire home, were granted their citizenship at a well-attended ceremony in Port Douglas on Australia Day.
Around 200 people packed into the Port Douglas Community Hall to celebrate the Australia Day Award winners and welcome the new citizens.
The diverse group of new citizens hailed from a range of countries including United States of America, Nepal, Thailand, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Ukraine, France, Malaysia, India, Germany, India, Italy, France, and United Kingdom.
On accepting their citizenship most of the new Aussies said they came to the area on holiday and simply never left.
As was the case for new citizen, Hayley Roberts from the United Kingdom, who said she originally only came to visit for a day.
“I just met the most amazing people and felt so welcomed here,” she said.
“I met my partner here four years ago and we have two beautiful girls. It is just a beautiful community here and if you haven’t got your family around then you’ve got it with your friends.”
It was a similar feeling for Roberta Mazur from the United Kingdom that led her to get her citizenship over the weekend.
“I moved to Australia back in 2008 and I just became a part of the place, I fell in love with the people and the Port Douglas community,” she said.
“So, becoming an Australia citizen became natural to me and I am very proud to have done it today.”
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu welcomed the new citizens before presenting them with a certificate and native plant from the Mossman Nursery.
“It was fantastic that so many new citizens have chosen to live in our beautiful shire,” she said.
“For most, it is a long journey leading up to their special day and hearing their individual stories was inspiring.
“In 2019, we authorised more than 50 new citizens at Douglas Shire Council ceremonies and the latest turn-out shows the lure of our region remains strong.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 20% of the population in Douglas Shire was born overseas.
GALLERY | Meet Douglas Shire’s brand-new citizens
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