Gunnedah Shire welcomed eight new Australian citizens on Australian Citizenship Day on Sunday.

Australian Citizenship Day, celebrated on September 17, is a day for Australians to reflect on the meaning and importance of Australian citizenship, and the responsibilities and privileges we have as citizens.

Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey welcomed the eight people who have chosen to make Australia their permanent home at a ceremony at The Civic.

“Gunnedah grew by eight Australian citizens on Sunday,” Cr Chaffey said.

“We have a thriving, growing community that is the sum of all the people who have lived here. We are proudly multicultural, and it is a great pleasure to see the happy faces of people who have chosen to make Gunnedah, and Australian their home.

“I welcome them and look forward to our journey together.”

Gunnedah’s newest Australian citizens are:

• Ying-Hsuan Hsieh, who came to Australia from Taiwan.

• Jean-Marc Kunda Mezieres, who has moved to Australia from Zambia.

• Tomasi Matakitoga, who is originally from Zambia.

• Maida Macarubbo Smyth, originally from the Philippines.

• Divine Faith Alog, originally from the Philippines.

• Bruce Jiminez Vinarta, who was born in the Philippines.

• Mary Jane Cruz Vinarta, originally from the Philippines.

• Nicolas Andrei Silos Vinarta, originally from the Philippines.

This year, more than 19,000 people from over 140 countries were welcomed as new citizens on Australian Citizenship Day.

The Gunnedah Shire citizenship ceremony held at The Civic and catered by Gunnedah’s Red Cross volunteers was one of more than 420 ceremonies staged at venues across the country.

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