The melting pot of cultures that is the Dubbo community grew a little larger on Thursday when 49 people from all parts of the globe were warmly welcomed as new Australian citizens.
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The citizenship ceremony is always one of the highlights of the Australia Day ceremony at Victoria Park and it was again this year, as those who took the oath were welcomed and congratulated by family, friends and many other Dubbo residents.
Soil and carbon scientist Chioma Igwenagu and her daughters Chimdiuto,6 years old, Chinonyelum, 4, proudly displayed their citizenship certificates alongside Chioma's husband Sochukwuma and youngest child, Chimmaramma.
The family is from Nigeria and after residing at Richmond in Hawkesbury, moved to Dubbo. Mrs Ikwenagu works with CarbonLink and in the region's agriculture science industry.
Ivan Acosta Rivas, a civil engineer from Mexico said, "I feel very proud today, and I take this as a big responsibility for me to be a better person, and to respect Australian values."
Mr Rivas,50, arrived in Australia in 2016 and chose to reside in Dubbo where he works as a Department of Planning and Environment engineer.
From India, Panvir Khan, 34, and his wife, Tawhada Yasmyn, 32, came to Dubbo six years ago after trying other cities, has settled with their jobs and a new home in the city which they described as a place "good to live in because it's quieter".
Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson said he was among those proud to say that the inland city of more than 55,000 people has become a place of choice for families and individuals from different parts of the globe settling here like the Ikwenagu family and Mr Rivas.
"Out of 7.6 million square kilometres of this nation, they choose Dubbo to be their home, even though everyone had a choice to go anywhere in our country, but they came here.
"So I get a big buzz about it and I think the crowd here today feels it too," Mr Dickerson said as he welcomed the new citizens in a formal ceremony.
"The Dubbo region is a multicultural community and we want to be inclusive in our Australia Day events and showcase modern day Australia.
"However you choose to recognise January 26, I hope you take a moment to acknowledge the hardworking residents who have received recognition from the community today."
Councilor Shibli Chowdhury, the council's multicultural advisory committee chairman, said he was taking time to walk around and shake hands with each of the new residents, who like himself, a migrant from Bangladesh, has chosen Dubbo to be his home.
"I will welcome them all as our newest citizens, " Mr Chowdhury said as he moved about the crowd chatting with the new faces in town.
Australia Day ambassador, the wheelchair tennis champion and former paralympian David Hall OAM said he was amazed at how Dubbo has progressed from what he knows about the region's history.
"Forward 142 years later Dubbo, which started with 850 residents, a store owned by a Frenchman and a pub by a Belgian, and its surrounding towns is an economic driver with a large livestock market industry, hundreds of thousands of cattle and a million of sheep, with museums, gallery and a zoo.
"Wherever we live, coast or country, we share a common thread and on a day like this, spending it with our fellow citizens we can reflect on our journey as a nation, and it makes me think these things make our country unique so let's embrace that."
Mr Hall also urged the new citizens to get to know "how we play, how we love our barbecues, we love chatting with our neighbours over the back fence, going to the park to let the kids play and we enjoy our meat pies, vegemite, custard pies, and lamingtons."
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