Somerset welcomes new group of citizens
SOMERSET Regional Council welcomed six new Australian citizens during a special ceremony at Esk.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said he was pleased more residents had taken the step of becoming Australian citizens.
"I'm very proud of each Somerset resident on becoming an Australian citizen," Cr Lehmann said.
"It's a big step, but with it you bring your background, cultural diversity, religion and beliefs into our community and we welcome that.
"Your cultural heritage is now a part of the Somerset region and I welcome your contributions to our community."
Of the six new Australian citizens, three were from the United Kingdom, two were from the Philippines and one was from New Zealand.
Aurora Ratcliffe and her nine-year-old daughter, Mariz Cerna, said they had moved from the Philippines to Esk six years ago and have never looked back.
"It's very peaceful and beautiful here," Ms Ratcliffe said.
Julie White and daughter Katie White of the United Kingdom also became Australian citizens during last Tuesday's ceremony.
The ceremony was an emotional occasion for Mrs White who had previously called the United Kingdom home for more than three decades.
Cr Lehmann said he was always happy to conduct citizenship ceremonies in the region.
"It's always a special day, not just for the people and their families, but for our region," Cr Lehmann said.
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann could not attend the ceremony, but sent representative Wayne Geddes to attend in his absence.
Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat also attended the ceremony to welcome the six new Australians.