SIX new Australian citizens were warmly welcomed in a ceremony conducted by the South Gippsland Shire Council last week.

Marie-Claire Annick Cerdor, Siew Bee Tan, Niya, Nimiya and Divya Manavalan and Derek Dent took their oath of citizenship with administrator chair Julie Eisenbise on Wednesday evening.

Ms Eisenbise read a message from Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alex Hawke.

“Today you become an Australian citizen,” Mr Hawke’s message said.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved as a nation, and we welcome you in joining us.

“Our history and culture has been forged over thousands of years, first through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and, more recently, with people from all corners of earth.”

Siew Been Tan, of Leongatha, is originally from Malaysia and came to Australia to get married. She enjoys living so close to Wilsons Prom and Mossvale Park, and likes the safety of Australia.

Marie-Claire Annick Cerdor, also of Leongatha, is originally from Mauritius and felt right at home on her first visit to Australia in 1994. She loves the diverse natural beauty of South

Gippsland, the spectacular coastline, picturesque hills, valleys and mountains.

Originally from India and the United Kingdom, Divya Manavalan and her daughters, Nimiya and Niya moved to Australia for the opportunities here. Divya works in the health industry.

They love the community interaction in Leongatha.

Derek Dent was born in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and immigrated to Australia with his family in 1988 before moving to Leongatha for a better lifestyle a year later. Three decades

on, Derek still calls Leongatha home with his wife Danika and their son Eamon.

Ms Eisenbise added her own congratulations on behalf of the shire and its citizens.