By Abbey Cannan
Classic Australian tunes like ‘True Blue’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’ played in the background whilst 32 new Australian citizens were welcomed to Noosa during the official Citizenship Ceremony at The J on Wednesday 17 April.
The new citizens came from far and wide, originating from 9 different countries including Portugal, India, Thailand, Italy, Mozambique, Brazil and New Zealand.
In attendance of the ceremony was Noosa Mayor Cr Tony Wellington, Noosa Councillors and Sandy Bolton MP, State Member for Noosa.
Mayor Tony Wellington said the ceremony was truly one of the great privileges of his job.
“Our rich heritage stems from the contributions of all of us,” he said.
Sandy Bolton MP agreed with Tony, as she said this is also one of her favourite events and that it often makes her teary eyed.
“Many of you have been a part of our Noosa Community for some time. I offer the warmest of welcomes to our new Aussie citizens. How blessed we are that we can access your traditions and your perceptions from all over the world and we can do this without leaving our home here. It is with my upmost pleasure that I offer the warmest of welcomes to our newest Aussies and extend to you on behalf of our community a heartfelt thank you that you have chosen, Australia, Queensland, but most specially Noosa as hopefully your forever home,” she said.
Three new Australian citizens who originated from Portugal, Paulo Fonseca, Luis Fonseca and Isac Fonseca said that they moved for many reasons but especially because of the nice weather.
Weather seemed to be a common factor in the reasons for moving among the new citizens, as Paul, Kim and Matt Barnicoat moved from the UK about five years ago, also mainly because of the weather.
Andrew and Irene Aves also moved from the UK, the couple has lived in Cooroy for about five years and moved to Australia to be closer to their children and grand children.
“We joined a Rotary Club when we first arrived and the community has been very welcoming,” Andrew said.
Another new citizen, Karen Friend, moved to Australia from New Zealand and has lived here for 25 years.
Rising star and first year USC Music Ambassador, Jamison Kehl opened the ceremony with a classic Australian song and performed the national anthem to close the ceremony.