On Australia Day this year, another 35 residents will take the final step to become Australian citizens.
This is a very exciting and momentous occasion for these people and their families but also for our city.
It has become an exciting trend that the number of people deciding to become citizens has increased dramatically over the past 12 months.
This year we are already looking set to have a record number of conferees.
We have 75 citizens-to-be already on the waiting list and council is set to hold two ceremonies in March to try and speed things up.
It is highly likely we will have to hold several more if residents continue to choose to become citizens.
In 2018 we welcomed a total of 44 new citizens.
Last year that number increased dramatically to 166, including one ceremony in March that involved 47 new conferees.
It is always interesting to see the diverse range of backgrounds of our city's new citizens.
Last year we had people from all over the world, including Bangladesh, Germany, India, Nepal, Iran, Nigeria, Philippines, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.
Some feel that becoming a citizen on Australia Day has a special feel about it and a lot are excited about taking part, but council puts a lot of effort into every ceremony, including those held in the council conference rooms throughout the year.
We attempt to make everyone feel special when they take this big step.
I personally love being part of citizenship ceremonies.
There is so much pride and enthusiasm on display.
Along with handing out funding to community groups for their exciting projects, this is one of my favourite parts of being mayor.
If you haven't attended a ceremony before, they are a great occasion.
We always have a good attendance, with families very keen to show support for their loved ones that are becoming citizens.
Participants take the oath or affirmation and are presented with their certificate, before singing the anthem for the first time as a citizen.
We then get a photo of the group and take the time for some individual photos with the Mayor for anyone who wants them.
I really believe Australia is the best country in the world so it is no surprise that when people come here, they want to become an official citizen.
Talking to our new citizens as I present them with their certificates, it is obvious how proud and excited they are and how much it means to them to be an official part of our great nation.
It will no different on Sunday, January 26, and I hope to see you there for the celebrations from 8am in Victoria Park.