PROUD AUSSIES: Janet and Mervin Penrose, Jaya Belle and Carlyle Maniling and Rizza Lumague-Penrose celebrated
PROUD AUSSIES: Janet and Mervin Penrose, Jaya Belle and Carlyle Maniling and Rizza Lumague-Penrose celebrated Emily Bradfield

Australian citizenship a dream come true

FOR Carlyle Maniling, becoming an Australian citizen means the opportunity to follow his dreams.

Glowing with pride as he received his certificate of Australian citizenship, Mr Maniling threw his arm in the air in celebration.

"Of course I'm proud to be an Australian citizen, it's one of the best things in the world and it means the world to me,” he said.

Mr Maniling was among 19 Western Downs residents receiving their Australian citizenship at Dalby's Delicious and Delightful festival last weekend.

Living in Australia since 2013, Mr Maniling said the certificate was simply an official welcome to a place that already feels like home.

"The community is filled with a lot of lovely people... the community accepted us just the way we were which is awesome,” he said.

"I feel that I really really do belong, this is a place that I can be whatever I want to be and do whatever I love to do.”

Mr Maniling has been working at McDonald's Chinchilla since 2013, and has been a manger there for over three years, a role that has not only provided for his family but is taking him a step closer to his dream of running his own business.

"When I came here I thought it was going to be hard but there's a lot of opportunities, more than where I came from. I came here to fulfil my dreams,” he said.

"Australia is full of opportunities and I've had more than two years' experience as a manager and apparently when

you're doing that you're eligible to do an MBA without having to do a bachelor's degree.

"I was quite surprised I could qualify for the degree just doing what I love to do.”

The Lacariatre family from Mauritius also made their pledge to Australia at the ceremony, after seven years living in Dalby.

"We've always been happy in Dalby,” Jane Lacariatre said.

Her son, Ryan, agreed and said their citizenship helped them to more deeply engage in the community.

"It means you're more at one with the community, and we felt Australian now we're finally Australian and it feels like we're part of the country and community,” he said.

The family first moved to Australia when Mr Lacariatre got a job in Dalby and the family decided it was time to make it officially home.

Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh welcomed each new citizen and Warrego MP Ann Leahy and Assistant Minister of State Jennifer Howard assisted proceedings, presenting each family with a Robyn Gordon grevillea plant.


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