GALLERY: Remember the Pozhuveliles?

The Pozhuveliles, who we interviewed last week, were among 125 people to take their citizenship pledges at The Hills Council tonight.

"We have been looking forward to this day for quite some time, and now it's finally come it's such an amazing experience," Benjamin Pozhuvelile told the News after he received his certificate.

He and his wife, Jaya, and their four daughters Supriya, 17, and 12-year-old triplets Suchitra, Susma and Susmyta, have lived in The Hills since 2008.

The parents are originally from Bangalore, India. They left in 1996.

They are giving up their Indian citizenship to become Aussies.

Click here to read their story.

Tonight's citizenship ceremony was preceded by an invitation-only dinner where The Hills Citizen of the Year was announced.

Click here to find out who it was.


■ 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.


Australian Citizenship ceremonies are hosted by council for shire residents who have applied to become Australian citizens through the Department of Immigration.

Ceremonies are held throughout the year with one major ceremony on Australia Day. In addition to those benefits that come with permanent residence, the legal status of Australian Citizenship carries with it the right to:

■ Vote and elect Australia's government;

■ Stand for public office or nominate for election to Parliament;

■ Apply for an Australian passport and leave and enter the country without an entry visa;

■ Seek consular assistance from Australia's diplomatic representatives while overseas;

■ Apply to enlist in the armed forces and for government jobs; and

■ Register children as Australian citizens by descent.

If you would like more information about becoming an Australian Citizen phone the Department of Immigration information line on 13 18 80 or visit

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