New Australian citizens welcomed at first ceremony for 2024

Baiju, Christy, Esther and Ayil Augustin have been living in Australia for five years and are now able call to themselves Australians.

The family made their way to Townsville from Kerala, India and were among the more than 50 recipients of Australian citizenship at yesterday’s ceremony.

Mr Augustin said he fell in love with the natural beauty of the region and people who live here.

“Everyone has been so friendly since we moved and has made us feel very welcome,” he said.

“My children have made some great friends and have fit well into life in North Queensland.

“The region’s landscape is so diverse and beautiful.

“You can go from pristine beaches to breathtaking waterfalls to rugged outback destinations all in the same day.

“I am very proud to now call myself an Australian and I look forward to being part of the Townsville community.

A total of 53 people from 21 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nepal, New Zealand, Phillipines, Rwanda, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

They each received a citizenship certificate, Australian hand waver flag, a native plant, gift bag from Council and a professional photo.

A Council spokesperson said Townsville’s multicultural community is a source of immense pride.

“It contributes to the city’s reputation as a wonderful place to live. It is a city where a sense of belonging is paramount, and residents, irrespective of their origins, come together to create a vibrant community and heritage,” they said.

“Council proudly supports diversity and inclusion in the community through events, such as citizenship ceremonies, activities and programs.

“Council recognises everyone’s diverse ability, welcomes multicultural diversity, supports youth and elderly and values Indigenous communities.”

Every year, Council welcomes hundreds of Townsville residents as new Australian citizens and runs citizenship ceremonies on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs.

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