New Australian citizens take part in ceremony in Taree on Thursday, September 17

MidCoast Council general manager Adrian Panuccio, mayor David West and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie with the group of new citizens.
MidCoast Council general manager Adrian Panuccio, mayor David West and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie with the group of new citizens.

Gloucester and Stroud residents made the journey to Taree recently to officially become Australian citizens.

One Gloucester resident from the Philippines and one Stroud resident from Thailand were among the 25 people from across the MidCoast Council region to take part in the Australian citizenship ceremony on Thursday September 17.

The ceremony, held at Club Taree, was presided over by council's general manager Adrian Panuccio, with mayor David West and Member for Lyne David Gillespie handling presentation duties.

It was fittingly held on Australian Citizenship Day and was the first in the Mid Coast since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Ceremonies across Australia were strictly held online between March and June.

Green Point resident, Susan Moseley was overjoyed to become a citizen of the country she has called home for 50 years.

"It feels amazing... I never thought it would be this good."

She was just a '10 pound Pom' when she arrived in Australia all those years ago and has fulfilled a wish of her deceased parents.

"They wanted me to finally become an Australian citizen," she said.

Nicola Emoe should be celebrating a milestone birthday with her mother in Ireland. The ongoing global pandemic put a stop to that plan.

"I have my 50th birthday this week and my mum turned 80 so I was going over to celebrate with her," she explained.

The Old Bar resident has lived in Australia for 22 years.

"We're in a great part of the world," she said.

She said there was an option for the ceremony to take place via Zoom. But where's the fun in that?

"It's nice to do something with the other new citizens," Mrs Emoe said.

When the pandemic settles down, she will be on the first flight to Ireland to celebrate with her family.

Other nations represented at the ceremony included Brazil, Denmark and Germany.

Addressing the group, Cr West said his involvement with citizenship ceremonies is one of his proudest roles as mayor.

"New citizens have an incredible impact on our country," Cr West said.

Dr Gillespie read the citizenship message on behalf of federal Immigration Minister David Coleman. Cr West then read the citizenship welcome before the group recited the citizenship pledge.

One-by-one they accepted their citizenship certificates from Cr West and Dr Gillespie.

"It's a really proud day for these new Australian citizens and we welcome them to the best country in the world," Dr Gillespie said after the ceremony.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the traditional post-ceremony morning tea was cancelled.