Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nicole Turns Aussie

Tonight I completed the final step to becoming an Australian citizen- the citizenship ceremony.  I arrived early at Coburg Town Hall to register and was then shown to my seat, which was in the front row.  They had some musicians playing beforehand and then got everyone to be seated in order to start.  The Mayor of Moreland City Council, Cr Stella Kariofyllidis presided over the ceremony.  We had a keynote speech by Melanie Raymond, the Chair of the Board of Youth Projects, and also remarks from the Federal Member for Wills, Kelvin Thompson MP.  I'm not sure if doing a political speech about sustainability and population control at a citizenship ceremony was the best move on his part.

After the speeches it was time to stand and recite the pledge:
From this time forward,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect, and
whose laws I will uphold and obey.
Then the Mayor presented each candidate with their certificate and an Australian native plant.  My crew of friends (Ruth, Danny, Michelle, Tash, Mary and Elvira) gave a big cheer when my name was called, which made the Mayor comment that I must have a fan club.  After everyone had received their certificates we sang the national anthem and then the ceremony was finished.  Danny grabbed my camera and started taking photos of everyone.  I was very appreciative of people coming to watch, especially Michelle and Tash who drove down from Ballarat in the rain.  We said goodbye to Elvira and then headed out to dinner at Baba on Lygon Street to celebrate.  It doesn't yet feel like I'm an Australian citizen, but I'm sure it will sink in over the next few days.

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