Congratulations and G'day to the West Kempsey family who were sworn in as Australian citizens at the recent council meeting.
Sherine Chakkalakal Jose, Prasanth Manikkathan Poulouse and their daughters Anna and Aami took the pledge along with five others in front of the Kempsey Shire Council, mayor Liz Campbell and federal MP Pat Conaghan.
The couple originally moved to Perth from India in 2013 with hopes of finding more job opportunities. In 2015 they settled in Kempsey after Sherine started working as a nurse at the medical centre. Prasanth got a job in electronic repairs.
"Moving into a new country and getting adapted to the cultural differences was tough at the start, but it's great now," Sherine said.
"Australia is so good for the kids to grow up in, especially for education and in regards to a job."
She said it was a relief to finally be a citizen and the ceremony was lovely.
"It feels really good, we have been through hard times, we had to move around and we finally got it achieved," Sherine said.
"It's an honorable day, and feels special to be a part of this country."
Also a warm welcome and congratulations goes out to the other five residents who were sworn in.
They are David Behra (India), Naomi Behera (India), Patricia Mielke (Brazil), Ian Dick (Canada) and Ishbel Keenan (United Kingdom).
The ceremony started with a speech from Pat Conaghan.
"Today you become Australian citizens, we are immensely proud of what we have achieved as a nation, and we welcome you in joining us," Mr Conaghan said.
"Droughts, bushfires, floods and a global pandemic have challenged our normal way of life, our social cohesion, a key strength of Australia that has never been more important.
"Upon taking the pledge of commitment today, I call on you to embrace these values and the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship."
Mayor Liz Campbell then led the pledges and presented citizenship certificates to each new Australian.
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