A cold, Melbourne morning wasn’t enough to stop more than 2500 people from becoming Australian citizens at Victoria’s largest ever citizenship ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It took 60 DIAC staff more than six months to plan and prepare for the mega-ceremony. Forty staff were present on the day to ensure proceedings ran as smoothly as possible. We have broken up the event today in two stages. Stage one, is the registration which starts from about 8.30 in the morning. Our staff were here from seven o’clock, setting-up. Then, at two o’clock we expect around 2648 conferees to come through, plus, an additional 6000 guests that will come at the same time. Among the thousands of people celebrating was English-born doctor, Paul Slade. I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people. After moving to Melbourne in 2006, Dr. Slade is delighted to share the experience of receiving Australian citizenship with his family and friends. Today’s a really important and exciting day for myself, my wife, my daughters. I have a couple of friends who got here getting citizenship on the same day. It’s a world-famous stadium, it’s been fantastic to watch sport here, but actually to have such an important event in our lives taking place at the MCG is just a fantastic experience. Raul Espina, his wife Gina and their three children also came to Australia in 2006. Their family is looking forward to making opportunities for others now they have become Australians officially. I want to have my own business so I can help other migrants to be employed here in Australia. Congratulations. You are now Australian citizens. (Applause, cheering). Nick Hatzoglou said he was thrilled the AFL was able to take part in such a significant event. I’d like to thank the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for partnering up with us.