NEW AUSTRALIANS: Sergio Carrillo, Elena Carrillo and Paola Rossini with Ballina Mayor David Wright during their citizenship ceremony.
NEW AUSTRALIANS: Sergio Carrillo, Elena Carrillo and Paola Rossini with Ballina Mayor David Wright during their citizenship ceremony.

New Aussies welcomed with virtual ceremony

BALLINA Shire Council completed its first ever online citizenship ceremonies this week, with Mayor David Wright welcoming 12 new Aussies.

“We had eight ceremonies for a total of 12 people,” he said.

“We did this because we have a list of 53 people since April waiting to become citizens.”

Three of those were Paola Rossini, Sergio Cardillo and their daughter Elena.

Originally from Italy, the family now lives in the Ballina Shire.

“We came here in 2012 and moved to the Northern Rivers in September 2015,” Paola said.

“We decided to give Ballina a go when I had a job opportunity in 2015. We thought it was a very nice area with small towns, and at the time we were living in Melbourne.

“We wanted to move to a small town in a more family-oriented environment.”

“We also wanted easy access to the beach,” Sergio added.

The couple was very happy with the quick and easy ceremony online.

“I think the whole ceremony lasted five to 10 minutes, but we were very happy anyway,” she said.

“We were eager to become citizens.”

Cr Wright said the option of the online citizenship ceremony was one the council may continue offering for a bit longer.

Although face-to-face ceremonies have been allowed by the Federal Government since Monday, Ballina Shire Council may still go ahead with another set of online ceremonies in the near future.

“It’s a shorter ceremony than normal but it worked well,” Cr Wright said.

“Last year we had more than 200 people becoming citizens, and looks like even more this year, so even under the current restrictions, we cannot have all of them in one place for one ceremony, so we may have another round of online ceremonies in a couple of weeks’ time.”


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