More Kiwis now call Australia home

Tom and Jessica Courtney are now Australian citizens.
Tom and Jessica Courtney are now Australian citizens. Blainey Woodham

TWEED Heads Civic Centre was a hive of activity on Thursday when a record number of people became Australian citizens for this time of year.

Mayor Barry Longland said he was surprised by the numbers, with Kiwis dominating the naturalisation ceremony.

"It's great to see so many people choosing to be Australian citizens," he said.

"The ceremony was very touching and our new Australians very endearing.

"It's a time when we all think about our pledge to Australia and what it means to be an Australian.

"It also makes us realise just how lucky we are to be Australian and to live in such a wonderful country."

Local Mp Justine Elliot said the event made her realise how easy it is to take our Australian citizenship for granted.

"I look at the people taking their oath and how much it means to them," she said.

"I really welcome the richness of culture and diversity they bring to Australia."

New Zealander Mark Courtney has lived on the Tweed for six years, with three children attending school here.

"Tweed Heads is a beautiful place and the lifestyle is amazing,' he said.

"It's a great part of the world to live in."

His son Tom Courtney, 12, attends Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School.

"I love playing rugby union, hockey and running cross country races," he said.

The all-round sportsman said he feels sport is a big feature of being Australian.

His little sister Jessica Courtney said she "loves the lifestyle".

"I'm very happy here," she said.

"I love the beach and my friends."

Topics:  australian citizenship barry longland culture kiwis new zealand

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