During the last six months, thirteen Gunnedah residents have become Australian Citizens and have now been officially welcomed into Gunnedah’s diverse community. The new citizens come from a number of countries including Denmark, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Pakistan and India.
Recent Citizenship Ceremonies conducted by Council saw the new citizens take their oath or affirmation which symbolises the commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It outlines not only their rights, but also their responsibilities. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where a citizen was born or, in this case, where they have decided to make a home. Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting our diversity.
The new citizens have decided to make Australia their home for a number of reasons. Some are long-time Gunnedah residents who have chosen to make their citizenship official, and others are new to the area. The contribution made to the community by new citizens extends well beyond the obvious cultural and social benefits. There is a huge economic component; as people come to town, they bring their expertise and skills and are employed in a range of industries across the Shire.
Saranpat Kittikornveraoat and Pawadee Srisawas originally from Thailand, moved to Gunnedah in 2016 to start a day spa business – Chan Supa Thai Massage. The girls had friends who lived in the area and told Miss Kittikornveraoat and Miss Srisawas about the need for a day spa. After living in the city, they decided it was time for a tree change, and saw that moving to Gunnedah would provide them with the opportunity to start a new business.
“When we moved here, we found that people in Gunnedah were very welcoming and really embraced our new business. We are really proud to be new Australian Citizens and make Australia our home” they said.
“The decision to accept Australian citizenship is public recognition of their commitment to Australia. As Mayor, it is an absolute honour and privilege to congratulate and welcome our new official Australian citizens. In Gunnedah, we now have many people from different backgrounds and religions that help to strengthen our community” said Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey.
Media Contact: Eliza Gallen 6740 2100