top of page
  • intouch Magazine

City of Newcastle welcomes its newest citizens home

Picture caption: Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with new Australian citizen Frank Bynon.
Picture caption: Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with new Australian citizen Frank Bynon.

City of Newcastle welcomed more than 160 new citizens from 41 countries today to take the pledge of commitment to Australia alongside family, friends and dignitaries.


Hailing from every corner of the world, from Afghanistan to Cyprus, Kenya and the USA, Newcastle’s newest citizens were treated to performances by the Deadly Callaghan Yidaki Group and The Grainery Church before receiving their citizenship certificates at the iconic City Hall. 


Among the new Australians was businessman and philanthropist Frank Bynon, originally of South London, who after 50 years down under took the pledge. 


"It was on New Year's Eve in 1973 when a friend and I decided to scrape together the airfare to move to Australia," Mr Bynon said. 


"We arrived in Perth after a long flight that included six stops and soon found labouring work in Sydney, Townsville and Melbourne thanks to the generosity of strangers. That first pay cheque of $900 felt incredible because back then a beer only cost eight cents!  


"I met my wife Jan soon after I arrived in Sydney and we moved up to Newcastle where we had our family. In the mid-90s I started my business in industrial service and supplies, which has since expanded throughout New South Wales and Queensland.


"Over the years Jan and I have supported charities in our community that mean a lot to us, which has been a great privilege.  


"Now 50 years, three kids and 10 grandkids later, there is no place like Newcastle, and I'm very proud to officially become an Australian and call 'Newy' home." 


Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the citizenship ceremony is one of the most important days of the year for new citizens and their families and she loves sharing in the celebrations. 


"Newcastle is a diverse and inclusive community that embraces new citizens from all cultures and backgrounds," Cr Nelmes said. 


“We have a long and proud history as a welcoming city with 15 per cent of our residents born overseas and 134 languages other than English are spoken at home. 


“City of Newcastle has gained almost 180 new Australian citizens already this year and today’s cohort takes it to more than 340."


Today’s ceremony featured a didgeridoo and dance performance by the Deadly Callaghan Yidaki group led by Alex Nean from Gamilaroi country. An Acknowledgement of Country was provided by his daughter Kyara Nean, also from Gamilaroi country. 


Layla Rose Schillert and Stuart Brown from the Grainery Church sang the Australian National Anthem and were joined by Klaye Sanders to perform 'I Am Australian'. 


City of Newcastle’s next citizenship ceremony will be held in September 2024 at City Hall. 



Supreme Ballroom Square.jpg
Love&Information Square.jpg
School of Rock Square.png
bottom of page