City celebrates Australian Citizenship Day
This year the City of South Perth welcomed 78 grantees at a special ceremony held at the City’s Civic Centre.
Australian Citizenship Day is a special day to reflect on and celebrate being an Australian citizen and the contributions that citizens make to shape our nation.
The City of South Perth acknowledges we are the level of government closest to the people and conducting Citizenship Ceremonies is important in that we connect with those in our local community. Of all elected bodies, local government has the most intimate connection with the people. It reflects the real concerns, interests and opinions of the people it represents.
Local government ignites passions and creates division like no other level of government because it deals with issues at the absolute coalface. It deals with issues that impact most directly on the lifestyle of its constituents. Whether the issue is the removal of a tree, the establishment of a parking lot or the processes of recycling within the community, local government is the pulse of our liberal democratic system of government.
September is the month when spring starts; a time when flowers blossom and a reminder to us that spring is a time of rebirth and renewal.
A season which encourages us to set fresh directions, and brings with it rich associations and experiences of our past, experiences which guide us as we chart a new course together.
I recognise with admiration, the physical, emotional, and spiritual journeys Australia’s newest citizens have made in leaving the land of their birth, joining us to live in this country.
As with other significant steps in life, the decision to become an Australian citizen involves commitment and an acceptance of responsibilities as well as privileges.
The citizens we celebrated demonstrated their loyalty to our nation, recognising the importance of showing respect for others, for equality of opportunity and for the values and principles that underpin our vibrant democracy, and that concept so precious to every one of us – indeed we are passionate about it – the notion of fairness; that whoever we are, whatever the circumstances, whatever we may have done, everyone is entitled to a fair go.
Each of us might explain what it means in different words but we know what it is – it’s about fair go, mate.
We are united as Australians, and stand together to face the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.
The Scottish Theologian Carl Bard wrote these words: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
I am proud to welcome the City’s newest 78 grantees and I do so with that generosity of spirit I know Australians across this great country share.
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