In the 65th year of Australian citizenship, the number of people gaining citizenship at ceremonies is on the rise at two local Perth councils.
At the City of Perth, 347 people are expected to receive citizenship certificates in 2014, which is the largest annual figure the council has recorded.
City of Perth executive services officer Lorne Gately said the city’s ceremonies had increased both in frequency and in numbers of citizenship conferees.
“We normally hold six ceremonies per year, one of those being Australia Day,” Ms Gately said.
“This year, we have had an additional ceremony with six evening ceremonies and one on Australia Day.”
Ms Gately said the recent apartment block boom in central Perth contributed to the rise in citizenship candidates.
“For the City of Perth, there have been new buildings and high rise apartment blocks that have increased the residential numbers in the city, resulting in higher numbers of residents who may become citizens,” she said.
At a recent citizenship ceremony at the City of Perth, Vinnie Borosti who arrived in Australia from Brazil in 2010 said he loved the Australian culture, and wanted to develop an Australian accent.
At the same ceremony, conferee Kanika Gupta – who came to Australia nine years ago from India, and settled in Victoria before moving to Perth four months ago – said Perth was a beautiful place.
“It even surpasses the Gold Coast,” she said.
Fellow conferee Yvonne McGrath, who came from Ireland in 2010, said she considered Perth a home away from home.
“Perth is a welcoming place, whereas Sydney is very commercialised,” she said.
City of Swan Chief Executive Officer Mark Foley said that in 2013 400 more people gained citizenship at city-run ceremonies than in 2012.
“We welcomed 1038 new conferees in 2013 and have again had a strong interest in citizenship ceremonies throughout 2014,” Mr Foley said.
Photos: Greta Jasiak