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Monday, May 17, 2021

Face-to-face ceremonies welcome new City citizens

One-hundred-and-fifty new residents, representing 39 countries, were welcomed to the City of Newcastle at this week’s Australian Citizenship Ceremony at the Civic Theatre.

Originating from all corners of the globe, from the United Kingdom and the USA to India and Afghanistan, our latest citizens were the first to make the pledge to Australia in person in Newcastle since the Department of Home Affairs moved to online ceremonies in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Among the newcomers was Sahlee Cook, who swapped life in the Philippines for Newcastle’s laidback lifestyle.  

She married her now husband Adam, after meeting in the Philippines, with the couple choosing to settle in his Hunter hometown to create a permanent home together. 

“Aside from the beautiful beaches, lots of cafes to choose from and different variety of restaurants, what I like most is the people,” Mrs Cook said.

“The people here in Newcastle are nice, helpful, and pretty laid back.

“I am grateful and beyond happy to finally be an Australian citizen.

“Australia is such a beautiful and amazing country, so I am honoured to be part of this great nation and to live in Newcastle.” 

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who presided over the citizenship ceremony alongside Master of Ceremonies Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen, said she had been looking forward to warmly welcoming Australia’s newest citizens in person once again. 

“City of Newcastle has worked closely with the Department of Home Affairs to safely resume face-to-face ceremonies to allow conferees to come together and celebrate one of the most special days in their lives,” she explained.

“As Novocastrians, we are proud to be part of such a culturally diverse, inclusive community and we welcome people of all backgrounds.” 

City of Newcastle’s next citizenship ceremony is planned for Wednesday 1 September.

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