Queensland

Leave hatred behind, Graham Quirk tells migrants

Immigrants arriving from war-torn countries should leave hatred and prejudices behind, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk told an Australia Day citizenship ceremony in Brisbane's City Hall on Tuesday.

Cr Quirk urged harmony and respect for all new Australians as 582 citizens from 65 countries were sworn in.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk poses for photos with a new citizen.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk poses for photos with a new citizen. Photo: Bennet Nichol

Immigrants from India, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and Iran were granted citizenship as Cr Quirk highlighted Brisbane's multicultural attitude and religious diversity.

"Many people have come from persecution in their daily lives, where authorities have not been friends of citizens," Cr Quirk said.

Tuesday's Australia Day citizenship ceremony at Brisbane's City Hall drew people from 65 countries.
Tuesday's Australia Day citizenship ceremony at Brisbane's City Hall drew people from 65 countries. Photo: Bennet Nichol

"One of my key priorities is continuing to promote harmony and inclusiveness among all Brisbane residents and this citizenship ceremony is an important part of that journey.

"Today is about becoming a part of the Australian family ... with respect for one another."

In a message to the ceremony, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton congratulated Australia's newest citizens, and stressed the significance of multiculturalism in Australia.

"Today we stand with other strong democracies to defend and protect our hard-fought freedoms," Mr Dutton said.

Some of Australia's newest citizens gather outside Brisbane's City Hall.
Some of Australia's newest citizens gather outside Brisbane's City Hall. Photo: Bennet Nichol

"People from all backgrounds and religions strengthen our country and only together, united, will our future be as strong as our present and our past."

Originally from Iran, Azadeh Hamzeii has been a permanent resident in Australia for the past six years, and received her citizenship at Tuesday morning's ceremony.

"It feels very good, the ceremony itself was great and very well organised," Ms Hamzeii said.

"I don't think my role in Australian society has changed. Since I've become a permanent resident I've been a part of society."

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