- Friday 11 July 2014
Today two hundred local residents celebrated an important milestone in their lives at Sunshine Coast Council’s citizenship ceremony which coincides with NAIDOC Week at The Events Centre, Caloundra.
One recipient who is looking forward to the citizenship ceremony is Sylvia Flores Larrain, originally from Chile and now residing in Flaxton.
Sylvia said she arrived in Australia from Chile in February 2006 with the intention of continuing her studies in theatre.
“I first arrived in Townsville and studied English for eight months and worked as a yoga instructor and as a Shiatsu practitioner,” she said.
“I also joined a local theatre group and was lucky enough to work in a great, reflective theatre project with Indigenous Australians, with the aim of facilitating creative political expression.
"This gave me a wonderful insight into the real roots of the Aboriginal culture and an understanding of their spiritual view on life.”
Sylvia said while she loved living in Townsville she relocated to Brisbane to pursue further her theatre studies.
“I studied English for another three months and successfully applied for a scholarship at the actors' conservatory,” she said.
“At the same time I was introduced to acupuncture and I started studying this as well which today remains my main profession.
“But my life changed completely when I met the love of my life on 08/08/08.
“My original dream was to study for five years in Australia and to then head to China, Africa and eventually return home to Chile.
“That plan never eventuated, but I have absolutely no regrets.
“Today, my husband and I have our first son who is one year old and is the love of our life - our everything!
“I feel so happy to become an Australian citizen as this country has given me so much, including things that people search all their life for - such as true love!
“It is such an honour and a privilege to become an Australian today - I love this country and I have a huge respect for Australian people and their culture.
“As I prepare for my citizenship ceremony, I feel great pride that I will stand before my Australian friends and family, and become one with them.”
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held bi-monthly in locations across the region. Visit council’s website for further information on Australian Citizenship Ceremonies.
NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.