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New Australian citizens welcomed into community

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Lake Macquarie family Bilbin Jose, Honey Madappallil and their three children Chris, Crystal and Carmel are passionate about their new home country. 

Since they moved from India to Australia more than five years ago, they have been immersing themselves into their new community. 

Late last week they joined 76 other men, women and children being sworn in as Australian citizens at a ceremony at Rathmines. 

Their fellow citizens stemmed from 28 different countries, including Turkey, Samoa, New Zealand and China. 

“Australia is a beautiful, peaceful and multi-cultural country,” mother Bilblin Jose said. 

“Thinking about our kids, it’s a good place to live and study.

“We definitely knew that if we chose Australia, we would get a good future here.” 

Becoming Australian citizens was an emotional day for the family of five. 

“At first we were a little bit nervous taking the pledge, but after it’s really exciting,” she said. 

Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser, who guided the ceremony, said it was always heart-warming to welcome people from all walks of life into our community. 

“I hope each and every person today enjoys the start of this exciting new chapter in their lives,” she said. 

“And what a day to celebrate on this blue-sky spring morning in this beautiful part of the world.” 

More than 2000 people have been sworn in as Australian citizens in Lake Macquarie since Cr Fraser was elected as mayor in 2016. 

“As Australians we have so much to appreciate and enjoy, and I can think of no better place to start or continue life as a citizen than in Lake Macquarie City,” she explained. 

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