'It's a good life': New Australian citizens share excitement
TEN new Australians stood proudly as they pledged their loyalty during the Citizenship Ceremony in Kingaroy today.
South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Keith Campbell said each of these new citizens would further add to the diversity of the region with people from Sri Lanka to New Zealand becoming Australians.
The South Burnett's newest Australian citizens are Tony Lucas, Geralyn Nalder, Sonya Sutherland, Lisa and Paul Atkinson, Annemie and Chris Du Plussis, Chamira Buwanekabahu Hiththara Naidelage and Chandana and Kevin Mapa Mudiyanselage.
The council chambers were packed and Cr Campbell said it was "the most candidates and supporters we've ever had”.
Chamira Buwanekabahu Hiththara Naidelage was one of the 10 to pledge loyalty to Australia and its people.
"I got my Australian citizenship to become part of the Australian society,” he said.
"I'm very happy to be treated like this.”
He left Sri Lanka nearly seven years ago due to economic problems in the country and has enjoyed the opportunities living in Australia has brought him.
"It's amazing,” Chamira said.
He moved to Kingaroy nearly six years ago.
"It's a safe, good country. People are respecting of each other, it's a good life,” he said.
Chamira moved from Sri Lanka with his friend Chandana Mapa Mudiyanselage and Chandana's son Kevin who also received their citizenships.
Chandana was excited to become an Australian citizen.
"We're living with people who are so friendly,” he said.