Collingwood ruck Mason Cox was joined by over one hundred conferees who made the Pledge of Commitment and received their Australian Citizenship.
Today’s ceremony was a part of the club’s commitment to promoting diversity and supporting multi-cultural programs.
The event aligns with National Refugee Week (June 19 – 25). The week aims to create a better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration refugees to live in safety and to continue to make a valuable contribution to Australia.
The ceremony celebrates Refugee Week with over one hundred new citizens from over forty countries attending, including conferees from the Refugee and Humanitarian stream who resettled in Australia after leaving their home countries of Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Syria.
Today was a memorable one for all involved, and for some a long-awaited occasion.
Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson welcomed the 110 conferees and acknowledged the importance of this celebration.
“Today is a day of celebration and we congratulate all the individuals who are about to pledge their commitment to our country,” Anderson said.
“The citizenship ceremony embodies the club’s commitment to promoting diversity and supporting multi-cultural programs.
“We are thrilled that Mason was presented with Australian citizenship at this event. He has become an important individual to our football program and has made a wonderful contribution to our club.
“Over the past eight years we have all shared in his incredible journey, which is reflective of all the personal stories of the individuals who are receiving their citizenship today.”
Department of Home Affairs Assistant Secretary, Charlie Shandil, thanked the Collingwood Football Club for hosting today’s citizenship ceremony, providing the iconic MCG as the perfect backdrop for the new citizens.
“Today’s citizenship ceremony, marking Refugee Week, is an opportunity to reflect on and value the contributions that refugees make to building a strong and prosperous Australia,” Mr Shandil said.
“Australia is a thriving multicultural country and each year we are honored to welcome new citizens to our growing community.”
Lord Mayor and former Collingwood board member, Sally Capp, was the presiding officer for the ceremony. Whilst Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Di Kerr OAM, conducted a Welcome to Country.
“Welcoming new Australian citizens is one of the best parts of my job. These occasions are momentous, because it marks the start of a new beginning for many,” Capp said.
“As a lifetime supporter of the Pies, and as a former board member, it is my absolute privilege to present Mason Cox with his citizenship. Mason is not only a champion ruckman, he is also a valued team member who contributes greatly to the community.
“On behalf of the City of Melbourne, I congratulate all the newly-minted Aussies who are taking their Pledge of Commitment today.”
All conferees who received their citizenship today received a gift from Collingwood.