FIVE residents took the final step in becoming Australian citizens during a ceremony on Tuesday.
Kerang residents Amandeep and Seema Sharma – as well as their four-year-old son, Shivam – joined Teal Point's Paul Shaw and Murrabit's Juliet Wescombe in pledging their allegiance to Australia during a Gannawarra Shire Council-supported ceremony.
More than 30 people watched on as the five residents completed the final process in becoming Australians, reciting the nation's affirmation and signing Advance Australia Fair during the gathering at the Kerang Senior Citizens Clubrooms.
"We welcome and congratulate you on your decision in becoming Australian citizens," Gannawarra mayor, Cr Brian Gibson said.
"Australia, particularly the community of Gannawarra, takes great pride in your decision to become Australian citizens."
The Sharmas moved to Australia from India for study opportunities, but fell in love with the culture.
"I am proud to be an Australian. I love it here," Mr Sharma said.
For Mr Shaw, the decision to become an Australian citizen 50 years after emigrating from Scotland came from developing a family in the country.
"All of my family are Australians and all of my kids are born here, so I thought it was about time to join up," he said.
Family also inspired Mrs Wescombe to become an Australian, with the former Philippines resident describing the ceremony as "inspiring".
"I love to live here," she said.
Councils hosts four ceremonies annually, with the quintet joining 10 others who have become Australian citizens at similar events held locally in 2017.