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Moree welcomes its newest Australian citizens

AUSTRALIA Day celebrations were especially meaningful for seven Moree residents yesterday, when they were welcomed as our newest Australian citizens at the Jellicoe Park breakfast hosted by Moree Lion’s Club.

Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries welcome the conferees, originally from five different countries, as new

Australian citizens and asked everyone to take a moment to reflect on the significance of what it means to be Australian.

“Our citizenship is something we should all actively celebrate on Australia Day, whether we are Australian by birth or by choice,” Cr Humphries said.

“We belong to a rich and diverse community and we should strive on this and every day, to celebrate the many people that make our country, and the Moree Plains, a great place to live and work.

Citizenship 2017 Moree Australia Day

Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries (fourth from left) and Council’s acting general manager Angus Witherby (third from left) welcome conferees (from left) Michael Murray, Asif, Sumiyah and Zoha Khan, Vicky Lyons, Sandra Brueckner and Arun Kumar.

“January 26 is an especially important day for those choosing to become Australian citizens, as they take an exciting step showing their commitment and loyalty to this nation and the desire to share a common future,” she said.

“Our Australian heritage is made richer from contributions by many people from many lands. Today’s Australia has been built from combined contributions of our indigenous people and from those who have come here from all over the world.

“We accept and respect the cultures and traditions of newcomers and in return we expect that they also respect the cultural differences they find here,” Cr Humphries said.

“While we celebrate and embrace the diversity of the Australian people we also aim to build a cohesive and unified nation of people.

“Australian citizenship lies at the heart of a nation founded on all-around equality,” she said.

The conferees came from India, Germany, Pakistan, Hong Kong and New Zealand and celebrated the final stage of their migrant journey and made a commitment to their adopted country and to the Australian values.

Moree’s newest Australian citizens are Michael Murray (New Zealand), Asif, Sumiyah and Zoha Khan (Pakistan), Vicky Lyons (Honk Kong), Sandra Brueckner (Germany) and Arun Kumar (India).

“I am originally from Pakistan working here as a tax accountant and it is a great privilege to be here in Moree – and I speak for my whole family when I say that I really, really appreciate everyone’s help and cooperation in becoming a citizen of Australia,” Asif Khan said.