Carlos Roldan became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.
Carlos Roldan became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.

Meet Mackay’s 5 newest Australian citizens

IF A skunk should ever spray your car, you should bury it immediately.

That was the advice from one of Mackay's newest Australian citizens, Joan Hannah, who has come to love everything about Australia except the snakes and the heat.

Having migrated from Canada, Mrs Hannah said Canadian hospitals will turn you away if you're sprayed by the stinky creatures.

And not only do they smell, their spray stung, she said.

Joan Hannah (pictured with husband David Hannah) became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.
Joan Hannah (pictured with husband David Hannah) became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.

"You have to bathe over and over in tomato juice to get rid of the smell," she said.

"And when you go camping, be very, very careful."

Joining Mrs Hannah at the Australian citizenship ceremony were two people born in the Philippines, one born in New Zealand and another in the United Kingdom.

 

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Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson, who officiated the ceremony, said the region had welcomed new citizens from 84 countries over the past seven years.

"When we talk about ourselves as a multicultural community, we really mean it," Cr Williamson said.

"That cultural diversity brings with it a collective strength."

Dina Musameh, who is the vice-captain at Whitsunday Anglican School, moved here from the UK when her dad accepted a cardiologist position.

Dina Musameh (pictured with her dad Muntaser Musameh, mum We'am Daqour, and little brother Ibrahim Musameh) became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.
Dina Musameh (pictured with her dad Muntaser Musameh, mum We'am Daqour, and little brother Ibrahim Musameh) became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.

Only days away from her Year 12 formal on Saturday, Miss Musameh said it was exciting to become an Australia.

 

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Muntaser Musameh said he was very proud of his daughter.

"She has been a pleasure growing up," Mr Musameh said.

Fellow teen and new Australian citizen Carlos Roldan, who completed many years of his high school education in Mackay, said his mates nicknamed him the "Asian bogan".

Carlos Roldan became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.
Carlos Roldan became an Australian citizen at a ceremony held by Mackay Regional Council at the MECC on Thursday September 9.

He was just nine when he migrated from the Philippines eight years ago with his mum Claudine James and then 17-month-old younger sister Kerren James.

Mr Roldan said it felt great to be an Aussie.

"I love living here," he said.

"There are so many more opportunities."

New Australian citizen Carlos Roldan with his younger sister Kerren James, mum Claudine James, and dad Scott James.
New Australian citizen Carlos Roldan with his younger sister Kerren James, mum Claudine James, and dad Scott James.

Mrs James said it was tough when she moved to Australia, being away from her Filipino support system.

But her Australian husband's family had been "very welcoming", she said.

Cr Williamson said it was a privilege to welcome the new citizens.

"It is just an outstanding night," he said.