New Aussies all set for big day
AUSTRALIA'S newest citizens will take centre stage in Gympie when they join people from towns and regions around the nation to celebrate Australia Day and mark 65 years of Australian citizenship.
Twenty-three people from eight countries will become Australian citizens at a special ceremony at the Gympie Civic Centre on Sunday, with public celebrations from 4pm.
Mayor Ron Dyne said the occasion was not only a chance to celebrate what unites Australians on Australia Day but also to acknowledge the importance of citizenship in Australia.
"Australia Day is always a special day for Australians and with this year's events also marking the 65th year of Australian citizenship there has never been a better time to celebrate the spirit and diversity of our country," Cr Dyne said.
The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which came into force on January 26, 1949.
Australia Day 2014 will start year-long festivities to mark the 65th anniversary with a record-breaking 17,863 people expected to become Australian citizens around the nation.
"For those becoming an Australian citizen, it is a particularly significant occasion, marking the final stage of their migrant journey as they pledge their commitment to Australia and its people, and accept the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship," Cr Dyne said.
"The Gympie community is proud and excited to welcome every one of its newest citizens.
"I encourage the entire community to join Gympie's Australia Day events and celebrate all that is great about our nation."
All are welcome at the Civic Centre to celebrate the 65th year of citizenship.
The citizenship ceremony will be followed by the announcement and presentation of the regional Australia Day Awards with entertainment supplied by the Cooloola Community Orchestra.