Castle Hill family ready to embrace citizenship

WHAT better time to become an Australian citizen than as part of Australia Day celebrations?

The Pozhuveliles certainly think so.

The Indian-background family will be among 125 people — including 22 from India — taking citizenship pledges at The Hills Council's Thursday ceremony.

The certificate will be an early present for Supriya who turns 18 on January 29.

"What a great country to be a part of and what a great place to live; one of the best suburbs, I would say," her father Benjamin Pozhuvelile, 46, of Castle Hill, said.

The Pozhuveliles moved to The Hills from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates six years ago, living first in Baulkham Hills before re-locating to Castle Hill in 2011.

"We moved here for the kids to give them a better education," Mr Pozhuvelile, a financial controller for Accor Hotels, said.

He and his wife, Jaya, are originally from Bangalore, India. They left in 1996.

They will give up their Indian citizenship to become Aussies.

"I don't feel it's difficult because Australia is so nice and welcoming," Mr Pozhuvelile said.

"We have never felt a stranger, or out of place."

Thursday's citizenship ceremony will be preceded by an invitation-only dinner where The Hills Citizen of the Year awards will be announced.

Click here to read about last year's Hills Citizen of the Year, Evelyn Lester, the local controller for Hills SES.

NEW CITIZENS’ COUNTRY OF BIRTH:

■ Afghanistan: 1;

■ Bangladesh: 2;

■ Britain: 21;

■ Canada: 1;

■ China: 9;

■ France: 2;

■ Hong Kong; 2;

■ India: 22;

■ Iran: 6;

■ Ireland: 7;

■ Malaysia: 9;

■ Myanmar: 2;

■ New Zealand: 3;

■ Pakistan: 1;

■ Philippines: 4;

■ Russia: 1;

■ South Africa: 24;

■ South Korea: 1;

■ Sri Lanka: 1;

■ Ukraine: 2.

Last Census, 4229 people in The Hills recorded India as their country of birth — the third-highest number behind China (6171 people) and Britain (7255). The eighth-highest number, 2340, were from South Africa from where 24 of Thursday's new citizens are born.

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