Hannah Bui, David, Sophie and Bang Nguyen are excited to become Australian citizens at the Citizenship Ceremony at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre January 26, 2020. Picture: Sam Reynolds
Hannah Bui, David, Sophie and Bang Nguyen are excited to become Australian citizens at the Citizenship Ceremony at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre January 26, 2020. Picture: Sam Reynolds

Over 100 new citizens celebrate becoming Australian

ALMOST 130 residents fulfilled dreams of becoming Australian citizens at yesterday’s Citizenship Ceremony.

After pledging their commitment to the country, the new citizens were presented with Australian flags and a native bottlebrush plant.

About 130 new Aussies celebrate at the Citizenship Ceremony at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre January 26, 2020
About 130 new Aussies celebrate at the Citizenship Ceremony at Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre January 26, 2020

Bang Nguyen, wife Hannah Bui and children David and Sophie all officially became Australians yesterday.

Ms Bui joked that her children could actually call themselves Aussie now.

“They always tell us that they are Aussie when it’s a little bit cold,” she said.

Now they are, and David already had his eyes set on his 18th birthday.

“I want to vote,” David said. “It’s only five more years.”

The family, originally from Vietnam, moved to Australia four years ago.

Mr Nguyen said he’d been to Australia several times before and decided to make the move.

“I’ve never looked back,” he said.

“Everything is perfect here, especially the environment is very clean.”

He said Australia was a great opportunity for his children and their education.

Ms Bui said Australia was a lovely country.

“It is very multicultural so it suits us,” she said.

Receiving their citizenship was a special moment for the family.

“It is the best moment for the four of us,” Ms Bui said.

To pass their citizenship test, the family had to learn about Australian culture and history.

“It was a good chance for us to learn about Australia’s story and we learnt a lot,” Ms Bui said.

“And if we needed help, we just asked.”

The Nguyens were among more than 100 new Australians who joined in the National Anthem at the end of the ceremony.

It was the first Australia Day citizenship ceremony to be held on January 26 for many years, according to mayor Matt Burnett.

“Normally we do it the night before, so this is a new thing,” Cr Burnett said.

He said the goal was to mix the new citizens with those nominated for Australia Day Awards.

“Then the new citizens can mingle with the ones that have put so much into the community for so many years,” he said.