Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Worth the wait for new Aussies
More than two years after making an application to become Australian citizens, Bruce and Gondai Maunganidze and their three children — Tanaka, 14, Anotidaishe, 12, and Angelina, 8 — finally became Aussies on Wednesday.
The Deniliquin family — who migrated from Zimbabwe — took their pledges in a special ceremony in the Deniliquin Multi Arts Centre, officiated by Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan and attended by 20 of the family’s friends, family and co-workers.
‘‘It means quite a lot to us because it took so long,’’ Mr Maunganidze said.
‘‘By the time it came it was an ‘ahh’ moment,’’ he said with a sigh of relief.
The Maunganidze family came to Deniliquin in 2016, when Mr Maunganidze was offered a position with Murray Irrigation Limited. He then joined the Edward River Council team in 2019, as its financial accountant.
Mrs Maunganidze said her time in Australia has so far exceeded her expectations.
‘‘I’m honoured to be part of this beautiful nation,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve grown so much and it’s what we intended for our kids too.’’
The Maunganidzes said a deciding factor on coming to Deniliquin was to be near Mrs Maunganidze’s sister and her children in Swan Hill.
She said it’s been a pleasure to see her children ‘‘be free to be themselves’’ and grow up near their cousins.
She said as Deniliquin has always been their home, the significance of the ceremony probably won’t mean much for a few years yet.
Mr Maunganidze said the community has been welcoming as they have settled in to work, school, church, and their social lives — soccer, athletics and basketball are just a few favourite pastimes.
‘‘We don’t plan to move — we love it here and we love the community aspect of the town. It’s a great place to raise our kids,’’ he said.
Edward River Council hosts an average of three citizenship ceremonies each year, with two to three pledging their commitment at each one.
‘‘The most (new citizens) we’ve had in a year is about 10,’’ ERC executive assistant Belinda Perrett said.