Australia celebrated Australian Citizenship Day, Sept. 17, 2013. There were 2287 people from 92 different countries who were welcomed as citizens in the country on Tuesday.
Australian citizenship is the "bond that unites all Australians", according to The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
In Bundaberg, where there are 30 people who were welcomed as citizens of the country, Bundaberg Regional Council mayor Mal Forman said that the day added to the "rich cultural diversity" in Bundaberg, NewsMail reported.
"Australian Citizenship Day provides an opportunity for all of us to take a moment to think about the meaning and value of our own citizenship," Mr Forman said.
A spokesman from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship agreed with what Mr Forman said.
"Australia's newest citizens come from diverse backgrounds, with a range of experiences and journeys to their new lives in Australia. What they all have in common is a commitment to this country and its people, which will be commemorated in ceremonies nationwide," the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, The Age spoke with the new Australian citizen Gregorio and Lidia Schipano. They moved to Australia from Italy more than 50 years ago, but it was only now that they had made their citizenship official.
''We always loved Australia. Australia gave us so much, we had four children in Australia, it gave us a good life for every one of us," Mr Schipano told The Age.
Another person who became Australian on Tuesday was Gagandeep Singh, a forklift driver who wants to join the Australian Army.
One touching citizenship story is about a Kenyan refugee, Ajak Bol Chimiir. A widow and refugee of the Sudan conflict, for 20 years, she lived under plastic sheeting in a Kenyan refugee camp. Now, her children have a bed to sleep in at night and had been receiving premier education at their Sydney schools.
"Opportunities are different here, everyone has education. My children are getting an education. They have a bed to sleep in."
Ms Chimiir told The Herald Sun that she is now studying social work at a university and dreaming to give back to the community in future.
"That is my dream. Becoming a citizen is really fantastic. It has really made me free. Being a citizen is really a fantastic thing as a refugee I feel I am not really Australian, I feel like a permanent resident," Ms Chimiir said.
There are 12,400 people from 145 countries who are expected to gain citizenship this 2013, including those who gained citizenship during the Citizenship Day, a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said.
"Australian Citizenship Day is an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on our commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. In becoming citizens, these individuals now belong to the Australian family and enjoy the responsibilities and privileges of living in Australia. We encourage anyone who is eligible to formally become a part of our community as Australian citizens," the spokesman said.
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