Bendigo welcomed seventy new Australian citizens at a heartfelt ceremony on Monday.
People from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, United States, Sri Lanka, England, India, Uganda, Vietnam, Iran, China, Russia, Thailand Indonesia, Fiji and Malaysia, all made the Australian Citizenship Pledge at Bendigo town hall.
The ceremony – the City of Greater Bendigo’s third this year – brings the number of new Australian citizens in the municipality to 124 in 2017.
With a smile beaming from ear to ear, Christine Lunney, from Uganda, said: “It feels good, it has been a long time coming.”
Ms Lunney, along with her son Moses, became citizens after living in Australia for five years.
After arriving in South Australia, Ms Lunney had spells in Frankston North and Mildura before settling in Bendigo in February 2016.
A junior Doctor at Bendigo Health, Ms Lunney said the certainty of becoming a citizen meant she could focus on her career.
“I can now focus on building a life and helping my family back in Uganda,” she said.
Bendigo is an ideal place for Ms Lunney to start building that life, she said.
“I like the laid back nature of life, but it (Bendigo) is not too isolated. The people are so friendly,” she said.