Citizenship ceremony makes history
THE Southern Downs Regional council has hosted the largest ever citizenship ceremony, with 28 newly Australian citizens welcomed to the region.
Izelle Barnard and her daughter Gabriella Behr, felt honoured to become Australian citizens in a community that has welcomed their family from day one.
"Together with my two teenage daughters, I arrived on the Southern Downs in August 2014 to join my husband, Cecil, on our new life adventure," Mrs Barnard said.
"To say that the Warwick community embraced us as new arrivals, would be an understatement."
Mrs Barnard, originally from South Africa, was pleased to make Warwick her new home.
"It's a very safe and inclusive community to raise children in and more than anything the Southern Downs community certainly embraced us when we got here," she said.
Many of the people Mrs Barnard says so warmly welcomed her were at the event.
"Our friends in the room today are business and community leaders who have each made us feel welcome, given us opportunities and let us know that we made a true difference in the Warwick community," she said.
Southern Downs Regional Mayor Tracy Dobie officiated the event which was in attendance by Federal Member for Maranoa MP David Littleproud.
Mrs Barnard said the ceremony was a perfect way to celebrate their new citizenship status.
"The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and did a great job of welcoming a diverse group of people into the Southern Downs."