Ngoc Quynh Nhu Nguyen, Niall Stanton, Krai Netsena and Nuananong Puangkhamkhong with mayor Isaac Smith
Ngoc Quynh Nhu Nguyen, Niall Stanton, Krai Netsena and Nuananong Puangkhamkhong with mayor Isaac Smith

‘People get emotional, I get emotional, it’s really special’

LISMORE City Council has welcomed 10 new Australian citizens as part of their Citizenship Day celebrations.

The group was welcomed at the council chambers with a ceremony which looked slightly different due to the COVID-19 requirements applied at the gathering.

Mayor Isaac Smith said the citizenship ceremony was always a highlight of his role.

"It's one of the most fulfilling things you do because everyone comes together to talk about how they want to be a part of something."

"Usually people come to council on different sides of an issue, so to have people coming together saying they want to really be here, they may have lived here for five years or 30 years, it's about making that final step, people get emotional, I get emotional because it's really special."

Cr Smith said that the ceremony added to the rich and proud diversity within the local Lismore community.

"The great thing for me is that every time that we do it, there is dozens of nationalities represented, people that have come here from other countries and I think diversity makes us strong," he said.

Despite the socially distanced nature of the event, Cr Smith said the event remained a special moment for those involved and their families.

"It's 2020, less singing, less handshaking, less hugging, less of everything sadly and more distance but it's still matters, and it still means something to be here and do it."