Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Worth the wait for new Aussies

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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.

 ??  ?? ■ Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan congratula­tes the Maunganidz­e family as he hands out their Citizenshi­p certificat­es.
■ Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan congratula­tes the Maunganidz­e family as he hands out their Citizenshi­p certificat­es.

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