07 March 2007

Queensland welcomes new Australian citizens

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More than 600 new Australian citizens from 50 different countries were 'welcomed' at a Brisbane City Hall citizenship ceremony on Wednesday.

Speaking before the ceremony, Teresa Gambaro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said she was eagerly anticipating tonight’s event and looked forward to meeting those people who have decided to commit themselves to Australia and the Australian way of life.

‘Since 1949, when citizenship was first introduced, more than four million migrants have taken the important step of pledging allegiance to Australia as new citizens. Tonight’s conferees will carry on that proud tradition. They will also join more than 16 000 Queensland residents who became Australian citizens last year,’ Ms Gambaro said.

More than 100 000 migrants become Australian citizens each year.

‘Tonight’s conferees come from countries as diverse as Liberia, Scotland, India and New Zealand and they all bring a rich mix of heritage and talent to their new country,’ Ms Gambaro said.

‘I will take great pleasure in celebrating their decision to fully commit to Australia and build a stronger society by becoming citizens.

‘I applaud those who choose to become Australian citizens, because it shows their desire to join the Australian family and to contribute to a prosperous Australia.

‘It demonstrates a commitment to the key principles that unite us all – such as respect for the rule of law, support for parliamentary democracy, and the desire to strengthen Australia’s unique brand of freedom and openness by participating fully in our community,’ Ms Gambaro added.

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