Bendigo welcomes new citizens

The City of Greater Bendigo welcomed 27 new Australian citizens to the community in a ceremony at the Town Hall last night. 

As part of Australian Citizenship Day celebrations, family and friends gathered at the event to watch their loved ones make their pledge to Australia. 

People from Sri Lanka, England, India, Belgium, the Philippines, Burma, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand became citizens at the ceremony, led by mayor Alec Sandner. “Today marks the end of your migrant journey and the start of your life as an Australian citizen,” he said. 

Bendigo resident David Brownbill became an Australian citizen along with his wife Ann Lansberry and their three children, Joseph, 11, Abigail, 5, and Eleanor, 3. 

Mr Brownbill said after backpacking in Australia in 2004 he fell in love with the country. 

“The people are nice, the weather is good; people are just happier here.” 

Mr Brownbill, who is originally from North Wales, said after living in the United Kingdom he thought it was time for change. 

“When we came here there was just so much positivity, we wanted to stay.” 

Mr Brownbill said after the ceremony, his family and friends were holding an “Aussie” party for the family. 

“We will have lamingtons and prawns and everything that is unique to Australia.” 

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