THERE are four new Australian citizens living in Cloncurry as of Tuesday, which is when a citizenship ceremony was held.
Cloncurry Shire Council mayor Greg Campbell naturalised the four new citizens in the shire hall during the council meeting.
Cloncurry’s new Australian citizens are Miriam Porchun, Nilu Hettiarachchillage, Hiran Wickrama and Dilshan Wickrama.
They have lived in the Curry for years and already have made a home for themelves.
Mrs Porchun is from Sweden and has lived in Australia six years. She has been in Cloncurry for most of that time.
“It’s because it’s Queensland,” she explained when asked why she she stayed in Cloncurry.
“And then I met my husband (pharmacist Chris Porchun) and I decided to stay.”
Mr Porchun and one-year-old son Sebastian watched the citizenship ceremony.
Hiran Wickrama, from Sri Lanka, said his family has lived in Australia for six-and-a-half years.
They had been in Cloncurry for four years.
He laughed when asked what made him become an Australian citizen. “It’s a nice place, isn’t it.
“A nice country,” Mr Wickrama said.
“I was around a few other countries before Australia but this country has more opportunities.”
Councillor Campbell formerly welcomed the citizens to the Australian ‘family’ and reminded them they now had the right to vote. “Not yet,” he joked.
“I invite everyone here to give our new citizens a warm welcome as members of the Australian community.”
The four new citizens joined councillors and Cloncurry Shire Council directors and the acting chief executive for morning tea, before the council representatives returned to their council meeting.
This ceremony was held days after Australian Citizenship Day, which was on Saturday, September 17.
Immigration minister Peter Dutton said more than 5980 people from 133 countries had been naturalised within the past week.
The top countries of origin were India, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, South Africa and China.