Today marks the 9th year since I left my country of birth, The Philippines.
Do I feel homesick or pining for the homeland at all?
Only when I feel like watching a Filipino movie.
I was thinking of what to write about today and my mind thought about talking about the journey, incredible learnings and wins, or my reflections on citizenship and what it means to be a new Australian.
But I've decided to just share a memorable moment from our dear Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore's speech during my ceremony back in March. It was her affirmation of the new citizens like myself, joining this amazing community - and with me, I bring my culture and history as well.
I've reached out to her team to get a transcript of her full speech on that day but has yet to be successful - anyways - found an alternative:
Here's an excerpt of her Citizenship speech on an Australia Day in 2011. It had the same sentiment about A Great Migration that echoed during that amazing day in March.
Our country has been enriched immeasurably by these generations of brave souls from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Australia has been called a melting-pot, but we do not want our newcomers to submerge their identities into some blandness where we all look and sound and think the same.
Rather, we hope that in bringing your language, your customs and culture to our country, you will add another vivid piece to the mosaic that is Australia in (2011).
Each of you will have something that is uniquely yours to add to the meaning of being an Australian. We welcome it, and we welcome you.
We hope, in turn, that the freedom, the peace, diversity and tolerance that we have in Australia will be actively embraced by you.
I hope that you will accept freedom, diversity and tolerance as the core values of a true Australian. That you will become champions for those values.
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