Parramatta local Zyon Langford is just one of the 2,400 residents to be conferred as a new Australian citizen in a series of Citizenship Ceremonies held by the City of Parramatta this week.
Mr Langford, who is originally from Hubei Province in China, first came to Australia in 2015 to complete a Master’s degree in accounting.
“I love the lifestyle in Australia. The people are so friendly and there is a great work-life balance here,” Mr Langford said.
“Australian citizenship is the final piece in the puzzle for me – it means I’m really part of this country. I believe in a democratic society, and now I will have the chance to have my say and influence the decisions that affect the country I live in.”
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis will welcome residents from 90 countries across six Citizenship Ceremonies at Riversides Theatres on 17 and 18 May. These new citizens come from Afghanistan, Brazil, China, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and beyond.
“Becoming an Australia Citizen is such a special occasion and I know some people in our community have been waiting a while for this much-anticipated day to come. That’s why Council has been working hard to deliver as many ceremonies we can, as quickly as possible,” Cr Davis said.
Local restaurant manager Bassam Alawad, his wife, Reem, and son, Danial, have been looking forward to becoming citizens since they arrived in Australia as refugees from Syria in 2017.
“My whole family is so happy and very excited to become Australians,” Mr Alawad said.
“This is now our home and our citizenship means we have the same rights as other Australians. I hope other refugees are given the same opportunities to make a life here.”
Once this week’s ceremonies are complete, more than 3,000 people will have received their Australian Citizenship in the City of Parramatta so far this year.
“We are an extremely proud multicultural City, with more than 120 nationalities and 84 languages represented across our community. This rich mix of cultural backgrounds and life experiences is what makes our community so unique and special,” Cr Davis said.
“Congratulations to all of our newest Citizens – we thank you for the contributions you’ve made thus far and will continue to make to our City.”
City of Parramatta Council is hosting additional ceremonies to ensure residents living in Parramatta Local Government Area can obtain their citizenship promptly without delays.
The Australian Citizenship Program is run by the Department of Home Affairs and supported by local councils across Australia through the delivery of Citizenship Ceremonies.