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Australia Day Message from Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning

By Latrobe City Council - 18th January 2001 - Back to News

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On Australia Day, among other things, we will witness a ceremony for those who have chosen to adopt Australia not only as their home, but as a Country they can call their own. We will welcome them to our community as Australians for the first time.

For many of us, including myself there was no conscious decision to become Australians. For me and my forebears this was an assumed right, and such a claim could now not only be seen as presumptuously arrogant, but as historically fraught with mistakes and misgivings.

There was a time in my own childhood when recent arrivals to Australia were referred to as 'new Australians'. In acknowledging the Braiakaulung people of the Gunai Kurnai Nation as the traditional custodians of this land however, I consider we are all, with the exception of our indigenous people, 'new Australians'.

In Latrobe City, our current situation of relative well being, is due largely to those 'new Australians' who arrived here in the 1950's.

Let us look at the names of just a few in our own community, who are synonymous with the success of our region: Massaro, Guzzardi, Tripodi, Demetrious, Filips, Di Fabrizio, Brueren, Bronts, Edwards, Coffey, Van Poppel, Nardino, VanderZalm, Van Berkel, and Vogt, Buhagiar, DeSipio, Marino, Monacella, and DiToro.

All of them arrived on our shores with little more than a kit bag and a heart full of hope. Yet what they brought with them soon became valued by us. Their food, their language, and their family life. These are people we trust in our community. These are Australians.

And here are some of the names of those who will become Australian Citizens on this Australia Day : Caruso, Dobric, Valentino, Van Zuijlen, Amiet, Stewart, Cowley, Behadzic, Kalenderovic and Al-Sharifi; each of them bringing with them and sharing with us the benefits of their culture and life’s experiences, enriching us all as Australians.

We wish with all our hearts that they will be as successful in work and business as those who have come here before them. Having already lived here for some time and deliberated on their decision to become Australian Citizens they are aware that the Australian way of life is based firmly on a belief in Community and sharing.

On this Australia Day they will make a commitment to the vision and principles of that way of life and on that same day we also will make a commitment to continue to share with them something that for the most part we take for granted.

Their willingness to commit to the principles and aspirations of our Nation is a reminder to all of us present of what those aspirations are. It is a reminder of how far we have come and how such progress could not have been made without the likes of them.

These people could have chosen to become Citizens at any one of a number of Citizenship ceremonies held throughout the year, but they have chosen to become Australian Citizens on one particular day. This is going to be a very special day for them and for Latrobe - Australia Day 2001.

Councillor Tony Hanning, Mayor

Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer,
tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer,
tel. 5173 1468


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