PHOTOS

Photos | Bayside Council's 2020 Australia Day ceremony

Australia welcomed 100 new citizens at the Bayside Council Australia Day ceremony at Peter Depena Reserve, Dolls Point today.

The Welcome to Country was given by Uncle Charles Madden who welcomed Aboriginal brothers and sisters and non-Aboriginal brothers and sisters to the land of the Eora people.

A didgeridoo performance was given by Bruce Shillingsworth.

"This is a significant day in that you become part of this country, Australia," Mr Shillingsworth said.

"Welcome to this diverse country. We as Aboriginal people welcome diversity. We have passed our culture down through the generations by story-telling and you guys are now becoming part of that story."

A minute's silence was observed for the bushfire victims before the singing of the National Anthem led by the Cadenza Quartet.

The ceremony was attended by a number of important guests including Barton MP Linda Burney, Kingsford Smith MP Matt Thisthlethwaite, Rockdale MP Steve Kamper, Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, and Mark Buttigieg MLC.

Bayside mayor Joe Awada started his Australia Day address by offering condolences to those affected by the bushfire crisis.

During the ceremony the council collected for the Red Cross Disaster Recovery. This follows the council's donation last month of $5000 each to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief, Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, and the St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW). The council has also donated $10,000 to the NSW Farmers Association's Drought Relief Fund.

Cr Awada said he was touched by the many Bayside Council staff who have stepped up to offer their skills in carpentry, truck driving, plumbing, mechanics and many other areas to help rebuilding in bushfire affected regions around the state.

"In taking Australian citizenship you are not forgoing the countries and cultures that you come from but you are taking on Australian values," Cr Awada said.

"What defines Australia is what you are witnessing here today - our multiculturalism and our diversity."

Barton MP Linda Burney asked people to reflect on the extraordinary history of Australia.

"We are the custodians of the longest continuous culture on earth. I ask you to reflect on the good and the bad."

Ms Burney said that taking Australian citizenship is not about leaving your culture behind.

"It is about bringing your story, your culture and your language with you. That's what makes Australia," she said.

Rockdale MP Steve Kamper spoke of his mother's journey from Greece to Australia as a young woman and how she was so proud when she became an Australian citizen.

"Be proud of your heritage," he said. "Use it to enrich this country with what you have brought here."