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‘My dream, my country’: Celebrating citizenship on Australia day

The Singh family became Australian citizens at a ceremony held at Adelaide on Australia Day. Source: Supplied

The journey to become an Australian citizen is very challenging for some migrants, but it is something worth fighting for, says the Singh family from Punjab.

Citizenship ceremonies have always been the highlight of Australia Day events. They provide an important opportunity to officially welcome new citizens as full members of the Australian community.

Gurinder Kaur and Parvinder Singh Sandhu live in St Peters, Adelaide along with their two children named Mehakjot and Jashanjot.

They are among sixty three people who were welcomed as new citizens at Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council’s Australia Day ceremony.

Parvinder Singh told SBS Punjabi that becoming a citizen on an Australia Day ceremony was a delightful experience for their family.

“It’s a lovely moment, a bit emotional though! The citizenship certificate is not just a piece of paper for us. It is a tale of our persistence and perseverance,” said Mr Singh.

“This is something that we have earned in the last few years. I understand its value as it has come with a lot of responsibility. 

parvinder Singh Sandhu, Gurinder Kaur
They are among sixty three people who were welcomed as new citizens at a Australia Day ceremony in Adelaide.

Talking to SBS Punjabi, after receiving citizenship, Mr Singh reflected on what it means to him to be an Australian citizen.

"Becoming a citizen on Australia Day gives me both a sense of pride and comfort," says Mr Singh.

“Now I can officially cherish my country, my dream."

“Australia is a wonderful place to live. The most important thing is that it embraces you with open arms and you feel free to express yourself,” he adds. 

Gurinder Kaur, Parvinder Singh
The Singh family from Punjab, India migrated to Australia nine years ago to give their children a better life and education.

After successfully settling in their new home, the Indian family have now taken the next step to become Australian citizens.

“When we first started from India we didn’t know where the destiny will take us to..... After ten years of constant struggle in the down under, we now finally call Australia our home,” said Gurinder Kaur.

“We wanted to move for our kids’ better future. We found the quality of life and job opportunities better than India and then decided to settle here permanently.

Despite delays in processing her family’s application, Mrs Kaur was pleased when it was accepted by the Immigration Department.

“It was great moment when we heard about the approval. It took a long way to reach to this point,” she says. 

Gurinder Kaur
Gurinder Kaur with her daughter Mehakjot at a traditional Punjabi event.

Gurinder’s seventeen-year old daughter Mehakjot studies at Adelaide High School.

"I am very proud of my parents decision of moving here is Australia. It’s a great country and a land of opportunities,” says Mehkjot, 17.

Jashanjot, 14, has a passion for cricket. “My first aim is to be a represent SA cricket team and then I will follow the dream to play for Australia one day,” he says. 

parvinder Singh Sandhu, Gurinder Kaur
Parvinder Singh Sandhu's son Jashanjot is a budding cricketer.
Earlier in the day, Melbourne hosted a parade through the CBD, which was attended by numerous community and cultural groups.

An Australian citizenship affirmation ceremony often follows a citizenship ceremony, giving everyone present an opportunity to publicly affirm their loyalty to Australia in a similar way to new citizens.

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