Buzz of a new beginning for 20

THEY came from all corners of the globe.

From Bosnia to Bangladesh, from France to the Philippines, 20 Wodonga residents committed to their new home of Australia on Saturday.

Their was a buzz of a new beginning in the air as they recited the Australian citizenship pledge in front of an encouraging crowd.

The Carropen family arrived two years ago from Mauritius.

At first, Danny, who works at Logic, and Vannia, a chef at Hollywood’s Pizza, weren’t sure how long they would stay but the Border is their permanent home.

“The thing we like about Wodonga is that we can focus on the kids,” Mr Carropen said.

As with many migrant families, five-year-old son, Curby, is probably doing the best job at learning how to be a local.

He speaks only English — with an Australian accent — and has already taken a liking to Australian football.

Another new citizen is Kerty Godon, who also arrived from Mauritius with his wife, Estelle, and baby son, Sebastian.

The couple began life in Australia as students in Sydney.

Mr Godon is now a welder at Butko Engineering. The pair have talked about opening a Mauritian restaurant on the Border, showcasing spice, soup and seafood from their home country.

Not everyone who joined the citizen ceremony was quite so exotic.

Several had lived in Australia for as long as they could remember without making their citizenship official until now.

Wodonga mayor Mark Byatt couldn’t resist a gentle jibe.

“They’re a little slow on the uptake, but it’s OK, we’ll take you,” he said.

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