Smiling broadly and holding her newly presented certificate proudly in her hands, Maclean resident Mae Apps was one of nine people officially welcomed as an Australian citizen during the 2021 Clarence Valley Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony at the Grafton District Services Club on January 26.
After pledging her loyalty to Australia and its people, in a public show of commitment to her new home country, Ms Apps said she felt very happy and blessed to receive her Australian citizenship.
“Australia is a beautiful country,” she said.
“Some of the things I really like about it is the nature, its sprawling beaches and its forests.
“I think Australia is a progressive country and its economy is very strong.
“I love being here, I love living in Maclean, I always wanted to see Australia and I am very thankful to receive my citizenship.”
Originally from San Fernando in the Philippines, Ms Apps travelled to Australia in November 2015 and spent some time in Brisbane and southern Queensland before coming to the Clarence Valley.
A registered nurse, Ms Apps currently works at Lismore Base Hospital and is looking forward to extending and expanding her medical studies as an Australian citizen.
Her husband James who also attended the ceremony, said he was very proud of his wife and was happy to see her receive her citizenship.
“I think it’s really great,” he said with a smile.
Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons presented the newest Australian citizens with their certificates and lead them in a friendly chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi”.
“Australia is a lucky country and we are proud to welcome you as Australian citizens,” he said.
On January 26, more than 12000 people from over 130 nations became Australian citizens at ceremonies across the country.