Kiama welcomes 33 new citizens
Published on 19 October 2021
This year has been challenging in so many ways, but difficult times can also bring out qualities of excellence, innovation and teamwork. This has certainly been the case at Kiama Council, where our dedicated team came up with an innovative solution for our citizenship ceremonies during lockdown.
Normally Council holds these ceremonies in person three times a year -- on Australia Day, in May, then in September on Citizenship Day.
Most years we get 10-15 people per ceremony becoming Australian. However, by mid 2021, we had 33 candidates and, rather than making them wait until COVID lockdown was over, we decided to go ahead with a series of innovative virtual citizenship ceremonies.
Council held three virtual citizenship ceremonies in early October, which were well received by all involved. The ceremonies were conducted by Kiama Mayor Mark Honey and Federal MP Fiona Phillips also attended via zoom.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be in a position to conduct these ceremonies, and my thanks go to the amazing efforts of council staff who worked so hard to make these ceremonies possible,” said Mayor Honey.
Frontline health workers and Kiama residents Abbie and James Rowe – a nurse and emergency doctor – and their two primary-school aged children Evie and Alex, are one family who all became Australian citizens in Kiama LGA last week.
Abbie, a New Zealander, and James, who is British, moved to Australia with their kids from New Zealand in 2015. After first landing on the Sunshine Coast, they moved to Kiama when James got a job at a local hospital and quickly decided they wanted to stay. Abbie works at a medical practice in the area.
“We just love Kiama and feel so fortunate to be living here,” said Abbie.
While citizenship can be a long and drawn-out process at times, Abbie complimented Kiama Council for making the final step happen now rather than delaying it further due to COVID: “the process has been perfect”.
Kiama Council congratulates all 33 of our new Australian citizens.
To find out how to become an Australian citizen, visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen