Many take the pledge in Karratha
Australia Day is an ideal time for new citizens to make their official pledge, and plenty in the Pilbara took that opportunity this year.
Sixty-two new Australians were welcomed into the City of Karratha at its citizenship ceremony held at the Karratha Leisureplex.
Among them were the Cayabyab family, originally from the Philippines, who decided to become citizens together.
Rolando Cayabyab first arrived in Australia from the Philippines in 2008, coming directly to Karratha to work as a scaffolder. His wife Perry and children Orlando, 15, Sophia, 11, and Clark Joseph, 8, joined him in town last year.
“Australia’s beautiful. There are lovely people,” he said.
“We came for the future of the kids’ education, the opportunities.
“It’s very important that our family’s here together, starting a new life.”
Mrs Cayabyab said they were also grateful to be able to earn higher salaries and be financially better off in Australia than in the Philippines.
Other new citizens at the Karratha ceremony were young couple Amritpal Singh and Kirandeep Kaur, originally from the Punjab region in India.
Mr Singh has lived in Australia since moving to Sydney for work in 2009, and Mrs Kaur arrived last year.
Mrs Kaur said they were glad to become citizens because there were so many opportunities in Australia.
It’s a good country, Australia,” she said. “It’s very free.
“It has multicultural people and we can live together. No one is fighting.”
The Karratha citizenship ceremony was one of 41 in WA.
Premier Colin Barnett congratulated those becoming new citizens on Australia Day.
“Western Australia is one of the country’s most multicultural States,” he said.
“The development of WA owes much to the hard work, valuable skills and commitment of those who have chosen to make this State their home.
“We are all West Australians, with a rich and diverse heritage, and as West Australians we embrace our cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.”
The Cayabyab family Perry, Clark Joseph, 8, Orlando, 15, Rolando, and Sophia, 11, all became Australian citizens at the City of Karratha citizenship ceremony.
New citizens Singh Kirandeep Kaur and Amritpal, middle, with Baldev Singh, Harjinder Kaur, Akram Shokat and Daljit Singh at the City of Karratha citizenship ceremony.
Pilbara Indigenous Nursery gardener Beth Smith provided commemorative wattle pot plants for Karratha’s new citizens.