Family proud to call Ipswich home
OVER 100 new Australians were welcomed at a citizenship ceremony on the night of November 9 and many of them were cherishing the freedom of their new homeland.
Henry Yango was one of those in particular.
He was born and raised in Liberia in West Africa, a country that saw many years of civil war before Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected president in 2005, the first female president in Africa.
Mr Yango has moved to Australia to join his wife Ngayneh Borsay and daughter Henrietta and he summed up perfectly why Australia holds so much appeal to him.
"I like the freedom of movement in Australia ... and just the freedom - because that is the most important thing," he said.
"Because where there is freedom there is justice. Where there is justice there is liberty. And where there is liberty there is hope and peace.
"I am in Australia to be with my family. I am very happy to be here because it is a country of opportunities. I also love this country because it is very happy to bring more migrants in and I love the culture."
Mr Yango, currently living in Redbank, was holding a Bible as he went into the nationalisation ceremony.
A devout Christian, he says he will remain a faithful follower "from birth to death".
Countries that were represented included Malta, New Zealand, India, Sudan, Seychelles, Russia, Brazil, Vietnam, Sweden, Finland, Ghana, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Egypt and Zimbabwe.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, whose parents emigrated from Sicily 65 years ago, said Australia was the country the new citizens would now be loving, while still remaining passionate about their own cultures.
"To get 110 new citizens was absolutely fantastic. There are a lot more people wanting to come to Ipswich to be naturalised so our numbers are increasing all the time," he said.
"The breadth of migrants that we are getting who are also involved in the community is amazing.
"Raj's wife from the Mehfil Indian Restaurant got naturalised. What they are doing with that restaurant is amazing."
Cr Pisasale made the point that it "doesn't matter where you come from".
"We don't want them to forget where they came from," he said.
"It is about loving and respecting your new country but also at the same time respecting your old culture."