Latrobe City Council recently welcomed new Australian citizens at a special citizenship ceremony at the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre (GPAC). The event was held as part of Australia Day celebrations during the 75th anniversary of Australian Citizenship.
More than 15,400 people from over 140 countries were invited to become citizens at one of the 320 plus ceremonies held on 26 January 2024.
Having migrated from different countries, including Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, Latrobe City conferees were welcomed by the Mayor of Latrobe City Council, Cr Darren Howe.
"Today was well put together and lots of fun. There was good food and lovely people running the ceremony. A great day out, thank you,” said Mrs Florence Williams, who has immigrated to Latrobe City from the Philippines.
Australian citizenship ceremonies are an important part of our nation’s celebrations. Our newest citizens have joined a special group of Australians who celebrate the anniversary of their citizenship each Australia Day.
On 26 January 1949, the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect creating the new status of Australian citizen. The first Australian citizenship ceremony was held on 3 February 1949 at Albert Hall in Canberra.
Mayor of Latrobe City, Cr Darren Howe, said the skills and cultural diversity of our new citizens, as well as their hard work and participation, will enrich the Latrobe City community.
“Council welcomes new citizens with open arms. We are positive each citizen will continue to make Latrobe City a great place to work, live and visit. We thank each person who supports one another in this beautiful country we call home.”
Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan, who attended the ceremony, invited all to reflect on our diversity, our rich First Nations connection to country and culture, our shared values, collective history and how we can all support each other to be involved in all the wonderful opportunities our Latrobe City community brings.
“Citizens from diverse backgrounds are welcomed to our region,” Councillor O’Callaghan said. “Australia is known for its multiculturalism and as a country that values diversity. Our citizenship ceremony is a time to focus on inclusivity and recognise the vibrant cultures, traditions, and experiences that further enhances our big-hearted community.”
More than 6 million people have chosen to become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949.
Latrobe City has a successful history of welcoming at least 180 people from all around the world each year and looks forward to welcoming many more for years to come.