BATHURST has welcomed one of the largest groups of new citizens it has seen on Australia Day in recent years, with a special ceremony held on Sunday in their honour.
Forty Bathurst residents became Australian citizens, nearly twice as many as last year on Australia Day and around three times as many as in 2018.
They came from many parts of the globe, including India, China, Bangladesh, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Pakistan, but they all share a love of Australia, its way of life and its people.
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Among the new citizens was the Mahinroosta family, who migrated to Australia from Iran a few years ago.
Reza Mahinroosta, a lecturer at Charles Sturt University, and his wife Rezvan Abedi, who works in childcare, became citizens alongside their two children, Helia and Hoonam.
The family lived in Sydney to begin with and then moved to Bathurst about four years ago.
"We all as a family moved here and it's a pleasure to be an Australian," Mrs Abedi said.
"It's a fantastic day for all of our family."
Mr Mahinroosta said part of Australia's appeal was the freedom this country has, especially for women, and the family has found everyone to be so welcoming.
"Even the first week we were staying here, we found very good people who supported us to become part of the community." he said.
"We're now very passionate to become Australian citizens here."
Bathurst has proved itself as an ideal community for the Mahinroosta family, who have enjoyed getting to know everyone.
"It's a beautiful community, it's been very welcoming to our family," Mrs Abedi said.
"That's what I like, because we moved to Sydney first and people are busy, but here we found really good friends, very supportive people."
Mr Mahinroosta added that the weather in Bathurst also makes it a great place to live, saying it was similar to where they were in Iran.
All 40 of Bathurst's new citizens were presented with their citizenship certificates and a tree, while the children also received a stuffed koala.
Bathurst's newest citizens are:
- Kerry Wayne Aldridge
- Oliver John Barclay
- Aidan Basil Carstens
- Adone Caitlynn Carstens
- Jerin Chackochen Cherian
- Thi Son Ha Chu
- Sourabhi Debnath
- Tanmoy Debnath
- Kingshuk Debnath
- Jeffrey Ilag Delica
- Alvin Garett Paul Dousip
- Shirhan Omar Khtab
- Muhammad Faisal
- Mark Harold Vistan Hernandez
- Louise Emma Hoskin
- Syed Hashir Imran
- Wattanapon Jomjan
- Karamjeet Kaur
- Catherine Kwae
- Reza Mahinroosta
- Rezvan Abedi
- Helia Mahinroosta
- Hoonam Mahinroosta
- Piriyatharsini Pranavan
- Ratnasingam Pranavan
- Nikki Beth Rodriguez
- Anm Sabbir
- Charisse Estelle Garcia Santos
- Sita Shrestha
- Vinayak Goit
- Abhay Goit
- Kotanath Bhaskaran Somasekhar
- Smitha Moolathu Mannil
- Swathi Somasekhar
- Shreya Somasekhar
- Puviraj Srikanthan
- Rosie Hannah Dorothy Stanford
- Maria Varghese
- Imam Wahyudi
- Jiaqi Zhang
After the ceremony, those who were old enough were encouraged visit a table at the back of the room to register to vote in elections.