Cricket Victoria hosts Australian Citizenship Ceremony

November 25, 2023
Category: News,
Cricket Victoria hosts Australian Citizenship Ceremony

Recently Cricket Victoria had the great pleasure of hosting an Australian Citizenship Ceremony with the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles MP and Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor MP.

It was not your typical day at the cricket last Sunday 12 November when the WBBL Melbourne Derby between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades was taking place at the CitiPower Centre, Junction Oval.

In the function rooms prior to the bat flip, 76 excited individuals sat patiently in their seats waiting for their names to be read. One-by-one they stood to their feet and accepted their certificates.

The certificates weren’t for the greatest number of runs scored, or for reaching a certain number of games played, or for years of service on the committee. These certificates welcomed them to Australia as a permanent citizen.

For these people, this was the most important game of cricket in their lives.

Cricket Victoria was thrilled to host the citizenship ceremony at the CitiPower Centre, attended by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles, and Member for Albert Park, Nina Taylor.

Twelve of the 76 new Australians were from our neighbouring country, New Zealand, including Mother Alisha Burns and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Alexandra. For these two, it was their first cricket match, and Burns was thrilled that it was a women’s game.

“I hadn’t been to the cricket before, but I was so excited that it was a women’s match,” said Burns.

“I am very passionate about empowering women to make their own dreams come true and believe we can do anything we set our minds to.

“We are so fortunate to live in Australia where there really isn’t anything holding us back.”

Burns moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2015 in the hope of finding a partner. She was in her mid-30s, recently divorced and needed a change, eventually finding herself living in Port Melbourne just moments from the beach.

Though her plans to find Prince Charming didn’t eventuate, she did however meet the love of her life, her daughter Alexandra.

“In 2020 I made my own dreams come true by having my daughter alone via IVF and a sperm donor.

“This isn’t an option that’s readily available in New Zealand for single women as there is such a long waitlist and priority is given to couples.”

The two became Australian citizens on the Sunday and are looking forward to their futures in the country.

“I am so grateful to be able to live in and now be a citizen of a country where my daughter can grow up and achieve anything she sets her mind on, which is a luxury many women and girls in other countries don’t get – she might become a famous cricketer!

“The fact I was able to fulfil my dreams of becoming a mother thanks to Australia is one of the things I will always be extremely grateful for.”

Cricket is a sport for all, and Cricket Victoria is honoured to have played a small part in the journeys of these new Australians.

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