Three new Australian citizens were welcomed by Mayor Ken Keith at the Council meeting on Tuesday. Marius Barnard and his two sons Marnus (10) and Marno (8) received their citizenship certificates after taking the oath. The
family moved to Parkes in September 2012 from South Africa. Marius is a mechanic, and his sons go to Parkes East Public School.
The Mayor congratulated them on becoming citizens saying: “When you make the decision to become Australian, you are deciding to become part of a nation which is not your homeland, but which you have decided to adopt as your own. When you become Australian it is important you don’t forget the language, customs or culture of your country of birth. They can add to the cultural riches of 21st century Australia.”
The Mayor also read a letter from the Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton. “Thank you for taking this important
step today. Australian citizenship confers on you great benefits, but equally rights and obligations. Congratulations
and best wishes.”
After the ceremony Marius said it was a wonderful feeling to be a citizen. It has taken a while, but it will give my life stability and I can start making a real contribution to Australia.”
Both sons were very excited and said it was a good feeling, and that they were proud to be South African and Australian. According to the 2016 census statistics more than 20% of Parkes residents have been born overseas, and ten languages other than English are spoken by them.
By Maggi Barnard