Brimbank welcomes its newest Australians

26-01-18 Brimbank's Aus day ceremony. Pic of Pen Dua, his wife Si Sui and their baby Elizabeth (1), originaly from Burma, with Bill Shorten. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

Brimbank welcomed 150 new Australian citizens last week.

The new Australians took the citizenship pledge at the council’s annual Australia Day event, which was held at Sunshine’s Kevin Wheelahan Gardens.

Australia Day ambassador William Lye said the ceremony was a melting pot of cultures.

“Over 30 countries were represented during the ceremony, which was amazing,” Mr Lye said.

“Brimbank is an incredibly multicultural area and that was reflected in the diversity shown at the ceremony.”

While the day serves as a time to celebrate the nation, Mr Lye said welcoming new citizens served an equally important purpose.

“Becoming an Australian citizen gives these people a sense of identity and belonging,” he said. “Quite often these people are over here, they’re contributing to society, but can’t have a say in its future.

“Becoming a citizen gives them greater employment rights and the opportunity to do things like vote, which is incredibly important.”

Mr Lye has been an Australia Day ambassador for four years – a role he was drawn to by his desire to promote the country to new arrivals.

“I’m very committed to spreading the word around that if you come from overseas, there’s a lot of freedom and opportunities afforded to you here in Australia.”