Australia Day citizenship ceremony, Taronga Zoo

Australia today is a nation of immigrants. The first one arrived here forty thousand years ago. It’s a very beautiful country. I love everything about it – the systems work. There’s lots of nice things about Australia. I don’t know where to begin, but the moment I came here I fell in love with it. I’ve been here for six years and it was great, the first day I came straight away from the airport, we went to the beach. So, I thought this is not possible! Today we celebrate 220 years of the first European immigration. Since then, millions of people have called Australia home. It is a great honour for me to celebrate with you, becoming an Australian citizen. It is always a thrill to see people from across the world, often dressed in traditional dress as some of you are, pledging your allegiance to the new country. I’m happy that I’m assured of a brighter future, hopefully better than I had. I was living in Germany for many years and I moved back to my country, and at that point I was looking for a country where I could find opportunities and where I could live in a safe environment. After today, after a few moments, you will have the same rights and responsibilities as every other Australian. That’s something we take for granted here in Australia. It is not the case in every country of the world, that once you become the citizen of the nation you have exactly the same rights as everybody else, regardless of whether you were born here or born elsewhere. Today is really important to me because it’s official that I’m an Australian. I think the minister being here made it that extra special. Knowing that his signature is on my certificate, and he handed it to me personally– that made it extra, extra special. Oh, and I’m now a proud father of a koala! I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people. It’s just… it’s fun being Australia. I’m very proud to be Australian.

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