The City of Gosnells welcomed 60 new citizens at a ceremony on Saturday 17 September, as part of Australian Citizenship Day celebrations.
Local resident Babar Habib and his four children Hira Babar, Muhammad Omer, Muhammad Essa and Mahnoor Babar became citizens, having moved from Pakistan to Melbourne in 2009 and to Perth in 2013.
Mr Habib’s first visit to Australia was unexpected and tragic. His brother died in an accident while studying in Melbourne in 2008, and Mr Habib travelled to Australia to attend to his brother’s affairs.
However, Mr Habib was so impressed by the caring way in which his brother’s death was handled, he decided to return to Australia to study in 2009, before his family joined him in 2016.
“I was impressed by the landscapes and the people and how I was taken care of,” he said.
“I got a chance over here to fulfil my passion and work in the automotive industry, and I could not have done that in Pakistan. My family is loving it over here.”
Mr Habib’s wife, Rabia Babar, has been approved to receive her citizenship at a later date.
“It is good to have citizenship because it opens up a lot of doors and it will help when the kids get older and go to university and so on,” Mr Habib said.
Mayor Terresa Lynes said the City has a strong community identity where cultural diversity is respected, and it is a great place to live, work and raise children.
“Nearly half our residents were born overseas, and the City was honoured to present more than 1,400 local community members with their citizenship last financial year,” she said.
“It truly is an honour to be part of such a significant day in our residents’ lives, as they formalise their commitment to a new country and all the opportunities that offers. In turn, we know these new citizens bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and promise to our community.”
The City hosted 19 citizenship ceremonies in 2021/22. Residents who received their citizenship at these ceremonies hailed from across the globe, with India, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar the five top countries of origin.
The City is one of the most culturally diverse local governments in Western Australia and regularly hold events and activities to celebrate the many cultures in the area such as Fusion Food and Culture Festival, which will be held at Mills Park, Beckenham, on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November.