The friends and families of eight new Australian citizens packed the Parkes Shire Council chamber to capacity on Tuesday to witness a very special ceremony.
Parkes Mayor Ken Keith congratulated the shire residents on their decision to become citizens with each receiving a citizenship certificate and other commemorative items. The new citizens, who came to Australia from six different countries, were also welcomed by Member for Orange, Phil Donato who attended the ceremony.
The ceremony included a special treat this time with Councillor Neil Westcott playing the National Anthem on his guitar.
The new citizens are:
Eriberto da Silva, or Beto as he is known to his friends, is from Chile in Brazil and first arrived in Sydney in 2012 with his Australian partner (who is from Parkes) and their first child. Sydney proved to be too big and they moved to Parkes soon after arriving. Beto works as a gardener and is the owner of Parkes Gardening Services. He enjoys soccer, BBQs, fishing and camping.
Gina Alexandra Hernandez Sastoque is from Venezuela, Columbia in South America. She arrived in Australia in 2009 first living in Melbourne then Perth, and first moved to Condobolin in the Central West before settling in Parkes in 2018. Gina has a degree in electronics and a masters degree in secondary teaching and currently works as an office assistant. Gina enjoys table games with friends, running, exploring new places and volunteer work.
Sereima Dauvana Corerega is from Fiji and first moved to Australia in 2009 living in Sydney, and moving to Parkes in 2010. Sereima works as care staff at Parkes Nursing Home and has a certificate from Fiji Institute of Technology. She enjoys socialising, travelling, watching sports, gardening and going to church.
Paulini Taole Lagilagi is also from Fiji and first arrived in Australia in August 2012 moving to Parkes shortly afterwards. Paulini went to Parkes High school and works as a support officer with Currajong Disability Services and enjoys swimming, sports, sleeping as well as watching moves. Paulini recently got married in Fiji.
Maricel Amistoso Smeaton is from Baybay, Leyte in the Philippines. She arrived in Australia in 2007 moving to Parkes soon afterwards. Maricel works as an administrative officer having completed a Business Admin Certificate III at TAFE. She also has a Bachelor of Science and Agriculture Business Degree from Leyte University. Maricel enjoys cooking and growing her own organic vegetables and herbs, as well as playing sports particularly volleyball and badminton.
Shuxin Wu is from China and first arrived in Parkes in 2012. Shuxin is a student at Red Bend Catholic College in Forbes currently in year 11. She enjoys reading books, travelling and photography.
David Alfonso Serna Benavides is from Venezuela, Columbia and moved to Australia first living in Perth WA, arriving in Parkes in 2018. David is a senior mechanical engineer and enjoys running, technology, product design, bushwalking and in his spare time volunteers with the SES NSW.
Jane Lee is from Devon in England and first arrived in Australia in 1982. Jane moved to Peak Hill in 2001. She works as a sheep farmer and hospital assistant and enjoys wool classing and gardening.