Byron Shire News advertising representative Scott Mitchell last week became an Australian citizen. He is pictured with his family (from left) children Caitlyn, Brooke and Mostyn and wife Jos after the citizenship ceremony in Mullumbimby.
Byron Shire News advertising representative Scott Mitchell last week became an Australian citizen. He is pictured with his family (from left) children Caitlyn, Brooke and Mostyn and wife Jos after the citizenship ceremony in Mullumbimby.

Scott finally becomes an Aussie

It took him 17 years, but British-born Scott Mitchell finally took the plunge last Thursday and became an Australian citizen.

“I thought it was a long time overdue that I got citizenship like the rest of the family,” said Scott, who lives at South Golden Beach with his Australian-born wife and three children.

“Plus England keeps losing the cricket,” he laughed.

Scott, who works as an advertising representative at the Byron Shire News, was one of 22 Byron Shire residents who became Australian citizens in a ceremony at the Mullumbimby Council Chambers last week.

They hailed from Canada, France, the US, the UK, Austria, Jamaica, New Zealand, Iran and Thailand – each with their own reasons for taking the pledge.

“I just love Australia. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people. And when you’re a citizen you’re a part of the whole community,” Nicole Engel, previously of New York and now of Byron Bay, said.

Nicole’s children Aishe, 11 and Abayomi, 3, also became citizens on Thursday.

Mullumbimby woman Melenie Maher said she had a very practical reason for taking up citizenship

“I’ve applied to do a degree in film production and I have to be a citizen to be eligible for HECS,” said the former UK resident, who has lived in Australia for the past 16 years.

The 22 were welcomed into Australian citizenship by Byron Mayor Jan Barham.

Cr Barham joined the new citizens in a rendition of ‘Home Among the Gum Trees’ – complete with actions – which she assured the crowd was part of the ‘great Australian tradition of making a fool of yourself’.

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