Ten new Australians and the reasons they want to live here
IT TOOK less than 15 minutes for 10 new Aussies to be sworn in at Richmond Valley Council Chambers.
It is the largest number of citizens to be sworn in at one time in Casino and mayor Robert Mustow wore his mayoral chains for the formal part of the ceremony before fresh lamingtons were served.
The new citizens hailed from India, South Africa, Ireland, the Philippines, and three from New Zealand.
Jason and Atheen Walker travelled around Australia with their six children. They learnt everything they needed to know for the citizenship test by listening to John Williams' songs and visiting historic places such as the Eureka Stockade, the couple said.
Irish born Neve Carolan has been living in Australia for seven years and the country has felt like her home for a long time.
"It's good to be Australian," she said after the ceremony.
More pressing matters forced the Macintosh family from South African to settle in Casino.
"It's opened a lot more opportunities in our lives," mother Beverley Macintosh said.
"We can vote now."
Her two sons would have been unable to find work in South Africa, a place she said was violent and unsafe.
"White males can't get a job there," her son Callum said.
The family were sponsored by Northern Cooperative Meat Company and now have jobs at the meatworks.
"It's is a safe place to stay, " Ms Macintosh said of Casino.
"My sons will have a better life here."
Annie Maccue loved the Australian winters after only a wet or dry season in her home country of the Philippines.
She admitted becoming a citizen was a big decision.
"This is a great country to live in," Ms Maccue said.
New Zealand born Katelyn Stevenson said it was awesome to now be an Australian.
"It's a dream come true," she said.
Ms Stevenson wants to be an engineer with the Australian army.
The new citizens sang the National Anthem, the first verse only, before they celebrated with their friends and families.
Kevin Hogan MP read a statement on behalf of the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman.