Lake Mac welcomes 40 new citizens on Australia Day
Lake Macquarie has today welcomed 40 new Australian citizens at an Australia Day 2021 Citizenship Ceremony at Rathmines Theatre. For our new citizens it will be a day to remember as they officially became Aussies.
The citizenship ceremony at Rathmines Theatre in Rathmines included new Australians who have come from the UK, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Russia, France Vietnam, Lithuania, Israel, USA and India to name just a few countries.
Lake Macquarie Mayor, Cr Kay Fraser, said it is always a joy to welcome new citizens, especially on Australian Day.
“It is such a privilege for me to share this special day with our new Aussies. Rathmines, on the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie, was just beaming with smiling faces and it was great to see families joining in on the COVIDsafe celebration,” Cr Fraser said.
“Becoming an Australian citizen is much more than just a formality for a lot of people. It’s an acceptance of our way of life and everything Australia has to offer.
“Welcoming people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe to Lake Macquarie enriches our community and makes us who we are today. We are proud of our diversity and of the welcoming nature of our city.”
Lake Macquarie resident Mr Fulgence Mbonimpa celebrated the day with 40 other new citizens – representing another milestone in his life in Australia. Moving from his native Burundi, a small landlocked country in East Africa, Fulgence spent many years in a refugee camp, before settling in Australia and studying landscaping and garden care. He has now started his own business based in Gateshead and lives locally with his family.
“I’m very proud today to become an Australian citizen. It has been a long journey, but I am looking forward to being with my family and growing my business. When I first moved to the refugee camp there was nothing, we had to build houses and roads, it was a very difficult time. I feel very lucky to live in Australia with my family,” Mr Mbonimpa said.
Lake Macquarie welcomed 25 new citizens in November at the first citizenship ceremonies since COVID-19 prevented face to face ceremonies last year. Now held at Rathmines Theatre it provides more space for COVIDsafe Citizenship Ceremonies to go ahead, which is great for new citizens and our community.