Deputy Lord Mayor Vim Sharma welcomed 50 new citizens at today’s City of Darwin’s Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony.
Darwin’s newest Australian citizens are from 20 different countries.
“I understand what a big step today is for all of those who decided to become citizens,” Mr Sharma said.
“I think it is important when people make the decision to become Australian citizens, they always remember their origins and never let go of their culture.
“Australia is a multi-cultural society and Darwin shows just how successful multi-culturalism can be.
“Darwin is a vibrant and exciting city, and our multi-cultural mix is one of the reasons for that.
“And immigration has helped Australia as a country. The millions of immigrants embraced by Australia since the 1945 have left a lasting imprint on our infrastructural, scientific, economic, political, and cultural fabric.”
Mr Sharma also acknowledged the date of Australia’s annual celebration of nationhood was not universally accepted.
“While 26 January recognises the day in 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip claimed NSW as a colony of the British Empire with a ceremonial flag-raising in Sydney Cove, Australia’s story started much earlier.
“We must always acknowledge the first Australians had been here conducting their ceremonies on this land for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Captain Phillip and the First Fleet.
“As Deputy Lord Mayor today I welcome Darwin’s newest Australian citizens.
“I trust our newest citizens will embrace Australia’s values of tolerance and fairness,” Mr Sharma said.
Today’s ceremony also saw City of Darwin’s Citizen of the Year winners presented with certificates.
This year’s winners were:
- Citizen of the Year, Kaye Talbot
- Young Citizen of the Year, Erika Mae Lu
- Community Event of the Year, Nepal Festival NT