Sydney held the largest citizenship ceremony on 26th January, Australia Day this year. 16,212 immigrants obtained their Australian citizenship in the ceremony. There was a 35% increase in the numbers as compared to last year. The new citizens of Australia came from more than 146 countries across the globe.
52-year old James Golestani from Iran said that he had dreamt of moving to Australia since he was a little boy. He was very proud to have become a part of the lovely and adorable country, Australia.
Babandeep Singh Kamboj from India moved to Australia in 2008 along with his family. He said that Australia was a great and peaceful country. He had always wanted to become an Australian citizen and he now feels very proud to have obtained the same.
Among all the new citizens of Australia, 27.1% were from India. Iraq and China followed with 6.7% and 5.8%. South Korea had a 5.3% representation while Pakistan had 4.9%.
Andrew Wilson, Mayor of Parramatta, said that 1,450 new citizens were welcomed by the City of Parramatta in 2018. He says that they feel honoured to have organized the largest citizenship ceremony ever.
Mayor Wilson also said that Parramatta has always been very inclusive and a multicultural city. It has a large immigrant population and is a melting pot for various cultures and ethnicities. Thus, it is the perfect location for such an enormous event.
Martin Alato fled the Iraq war and came to Australia on 25th November 2011. He became an Australian citizen after marrying his Australian wife. Speaking to SBS News, Martin said that becoming an Australian citizen was a proud moment for him.
In January 2019, the Australian government made revisions to the citizenship code. It has now become mandatory for all councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day. The new code will also enforce a strict dress code for new citizens.
Since the introduction of citizenship more than 70 years ago, Australia has welcomed more than 5 million new citizens.
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