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31 January 2024 Posted by 


200 new citizens call Blacktown home
AFTER a patriotic flag raising, a lively breakfast in the company of gazing wildlife homed at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside kicked off Australia Day for Blacktown residents.
“What better way to start Australia Day than at Featherdale surrounded by our wonderful native animals and birds,” Blacktown City mayor Tony Bleasdale said. “Featherdale is a well-loved and iconic attraction within our city.”
And so began a day of celebration in various venues that went right into the night at Rooty Hill with colourful fireworks in the state’s largest populated council which chose to keep January 26 as the nation’s day to celebrate what it is being an Australian.
Blacktown Council held their event despite calls by 81 other councils who did not celebrate theirs as part of the change the date campaign by the Indigenous community.
Clr Bleasdale and fellow councillors were joined at breakfast with the koalas, kangaroos, emus, native birds and animals by the federal government’s communications minister Michelle Rowland, the Greenway electorate’s MP, and industry and science minister Ed Husic, the Chifley electorate’s MP, and Australia Day Ambassador Brad Farmer. 
After breakfast, they all headed to Bowman Hall to celebrate the more than 200 new residents to call Blacktown their new swear their allegiance to Australia.
The city boasts one of the most diverse populations in the country from more than 180 nations reflected in the colourful parade of traditional costumes worn by the new citizens.
The citizenship ceremony opened with an extended Welcome to Country and corroboree. 
Speeches came from the Mayor Bleasdale, Ms Rowland, Mr Husic, Mr Farmer and Blacktown’s Youth Ambassadors Darshanik Aryal and Giovanna Tabanag. “I firmly believe that Australia Day is a day of both celebration and reflection by all Australians,” Clr Bleasdale said.
“Council believes it is a day when we welcome our most recent arrivals as they swear their allegiance to Australia and, at the same time, we acknowledge our First Nations peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land.
“Today we should reflect on our history, the highs and the low points, respect the stories of others and celebrate our achievements.”
Mr Farmer AM said he was impressed by the “calibre, capacity and commitment of all Australia Day finalists and winners is truly outstanding and demonstrates just what a truly great success story Blacktown is”
“Without doubt, the activity packed Australia Day here was the best of any Council area I’ve enjoyed as an Australia Day Ambassador in over 11 years across Australia.”
A concert was held at Rooty Hill prior to the fireworks display.
Thousands of people turned out for the alcohol-free, family-friendly event.
The fun-filled afternoon and evening featured live stage performances, amusements rides, food stalls, water games to cool off and a very popular circus workshop.
The concert was headlined with a great performance by the group Baby Animals after which Vtribe got the party going with a fabulous show in the afternoon.
The city’s celebration ended with bang as the sky lit up with the biggest fireworks display in Western Sydney.
Clr Bleasdale said, “I think this year was definitely the best [Australia Day in the Blacktown] ever.”


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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