Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Making of Australians


On Australia Day I was delighted to attend my second Citizenship Ceremony where immigrants to Australia become Australian citizens.

The first was at Tennant Creek in the early 60s when two of my work mates became Australian citizens. Both were from Europe; Austria, I think and it was simply a matter of attending the Tennant Creek Court House where the Clerk of the Court handed each a Certificate of Naturalisation, welcomed them to our mob and shook their hands.

It was a low key affair that took 10 minutes; no speeches, no celebratory drinks or any fanfare, although I do recall the two who were naturalised and a large number of their friends did migrate to the Tennant Creek Memorial Club where they drank and made merry until the early hours of the morning.

Australia Day 2015 was a much nicer affair. Fifty-three people accepted the gift of Australian Citizenship and all that entails. Among them were friends of our family, Vivek and Tina and their two children Shaun and Reanne whom you can see in the photo above. 

The family is of Indian origin from Mumbai, however, they lived for many years in Kuwait before immigrating to Australia.

At the ceremony, which was planned, organised and executed by the Kenmore Rotary Club, a welcoming speech was given by a local government member, new citizens read one of two pledges, the first for those who believe in God and the second a secular pledge with almost identical wording. 

Our newest citizens were then called to the stage where they were handed their Certificates of Citizenship, congratulated and photographed with the Australian, Queensland and City of Brisbane flags in the background.

Our friend Tina presented an excellent speech of thanks on behalf of the new Australians that elicited a warm and loud round of applause from the crowd of a hundred or more people.

A female singer sang the Australian Song, the chorus of which is “I am, you are, we are Australian” and of course at one stage we sang our beautiful National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

Both new and old Australians were invited to recite a general pledge of elegiance to Australia which we did enthusiastically.

Light refreshments followed as people milled about having additional photographs taken, congratulating our newest citizens and enjoying the special moment in the lives of those for whom the ceremony was held.

While I don’t know any of the other 49 people whose citizenship was confirmed, I believe my friends are an example of the kind of immigrants Australia needs and can benefit from. They work, pay taxes, comply with Australian laws and support our values which are very similar to those of India. It’s certainly a matter of India’s loss and our gain, however, India with its larger population probably hardly notices they aren’t there.

Numbers of Australians, even some who were immigrants from Italy and Greece or the rest of Europe post-WWII are against immigration and would like to see it stopped. Most of us realise the benefits that come from increasing our population with intelligent, educated, hard-working people who share our values and principles.

It’s probably true to say that Australia needs immigrants more than the immigrants need Australia.

We were only 26 days into our new year and already this was a great start to what we hope will be a wonderful year ... The Making of Australians.


Robin

3 comments:

Tina Miranda said...

Robin you are such a fine example of what a life well lived looks like. Chris and you are excellent role models to have both as a couple, parents and friends. I stand by what I said "you both define Australia for us and there absolutely can not be a better definition!" Aussie Aussie Aussie!!

P.S. I like the I am not a robot below :)

Uouo Uo said...


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