400 new Australian citizens welcomed

Muam Zo with his family Nuniyan Lily Zo, Vanrolen and Rokimthang. (Liam McNally)

Liam McNally

On January 26, Melton council welcomed 400 new Australian citizens at a special event at Cobblebank Stadium.

The day included activities for the whole family including music, a sausage sizzle, face painting and the chance to meet dingos and reptiles and enjoy some face painting.

Muam Zo, originally from Myanmar, said he’s “so excited” to become one of Melton’s newest Australian citizens and wants to become more involved in the community.

I once couldn’t imagine it, but now I’ve got the opportunity, it’s a privilege,” he said.

“Now I’m Australian, I have to settle my mind, my heart and everything in Australia, live like an Australian and contribute as much as I can to the nation,” he said.

Naha Patil and her son were two of Melton’s newest citizens admitted on the day. Ms Patil was born in India, and her son in New Zealand, after 8.5 years in Australia the whole family are now citizens of Australia.

“The day was so good,” she said.

“Thanks to the mayor and council for putting in lots of effort in arranging this function, it’s very awesome.

“[Becoming a citizen] feels very good, it’s not a privilege, it’s earned.”

Ms Patil’s son also said it “feels nice” to become a citizen, and the day was a lot of fun.

Claudine Morales, originally from New Zealand, became a citizen after 17 years living in Australia, and said she’s excited about getting to vote.

“It’s been a long way, but it finally came… it feels good,” she said.

Melton Mayor Kathy Majdlik said the citizenship ceremony is a highlight for her on council’s calendar.

“Australia Day is a time to celebrate the people who make the country we are blessed

to call home so special,” she said.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to come together and enjoy the community

spirit that makes this city such a wonderful place to live.’’