Taking the pledge to become an Australian citizen is a momentous occasion for those who choose to take the journey, and 76 people became Australian citizens in Lake Macquarie City Council's citizenship ceremony on Friday.
I was honoured to be part of this significant milestone, when so many Lake Macquarie residents from different parts of the world and different cultures, including Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Iran, UK, Ukraine, India and the Philippines, become Australians, in our beautiful city.
Every person's journey to citizenship is different - but all come to their ceremony with optimism, gratitude and joy. It marks the start of a new and exciting chapter, even for those who are already long-term Australian residents. I congratulate those who participated in last week's ceremony on not only becoming Australian citizens but making the wise choice to live in our beautiful city of Lake Macquarie. Our community is enriched by all who come here from other lands and cultures.
I also had the opportunity to see first hand how work is progressing on council's $6 million major renovation of Toronto Swim Centre. The revamp will include retiling of all pools, a new combined hydrotherapy and spa pool, refurbished amenities and vastly improved air and water quality.
Once complete in the coming months, the project will provide a much better user experience.