From China to Murray Bridge: Migrants take a leap on Australian Citizenship Day

Seven new Australians have taken their citizenship pledges in Murray Bridge.

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Jianling Huang is still more comfortable speaking Mandarin than English, but now she’s as Aussie as any of us.

She and her children, Ruohua and Suyi, were three of the seven new Australians who made their citizenship pledges in Murray Bridge on Friday, Australian Citizenship Day.

Don’t mistake them for newcomers, though – they have lived in the Murraylands for about six years.

Michael and Valanique Callaghan were in the same basket.

They came over from New Zealand about 14 years ago, but said they wanted to be able to have their say by voting in Australian elections.

New Australians Michael and Valanique Callaghan receive their citizenship certificates from Brenton Lewis and Adrian Pederick. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

“It allows us to be included in the community,” Ms Callaghan said.

“It’s a good little community – a great place to raise kids, having done it with my five.”

The two other new Australians sworn in on the day were Marcus Myers, from the United States, and Ivy Tubigan, from the Phillippines.

Mayor Brenton Lewis encouraged each of them to get involved in the community, if they were not already, and contribute to celebrations such as the Murraylands Multicultural Yuntu-Walun Festival and All Culture Fest.

“A lot of our new settlers work in the food processing industry,” he said.

“We know how tough that is, how tough the hours are and the travel time ... but take the time to put into the community.

“Teach us about your culture, your customs – we want to hear that, we want to be richer – and take in some of what we've got to offer.”

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