On Australian Citizenship Day this year, Yass Mayor Allan McGrath welcomed nine Yass Valley residents who came here from around the world, in receiving Australian Citizenship. The ‘Welcome to Country’ was given by Ngunnawal Elder Lillian Bell and Mr Scott Bell ‘in language.’ 

Among the new citizens were Jamith Mayadunnage with his two daughters Kenolee and Kenudi Mayadunnage, originally from Sri Lanka.

Mayor McGrath Welcomes New Citizens- Jamith Mayadunnage, his wife Sithara and daughters Kenolee and Kenudi with Yass Mayor Allan McGrath

James Ashton, Paul Edwards-Quinn, Matthew Holiday, Doug Rogan, and Simon Tymkow also received Australian Citizenship.

“I’d like to congratulate each of you on your decision to become an Australian citizen, a decision welcomed not only by me, but by all Australians,” said Mayor McGrath.

“Citizenship is a common bond which unites all Australians whether they are Australia’s traditional inhabitants, first generation migrants, or the descendants of early settlers.”

Mayor McGrath & Councillors welcome new citizens

The Mayor then read a message from the honourable Andrew Giles MP, Minister for immigration, citizenship, and multicultural affairs.

“Thank you for deciding to become an Australian citizen. Today you join a nation that is one of the world’s most successful, multicultural societies. Australians are united by our shared commitment to democracy.”

Welcome to Country given by Ngunnawal Elder Lillian Bell and Mr Scott Bell ‘in language’


Mayor McGrath Welcomes New Citizens- Mr Mayadunnage cuts the cake

New Australian citizen Simon Tymkow, originally from the United Kingdom, has been living in Australia for eight years and has family living here too. He has recently moved to Murrumbateman with his wife Sarah and son Asa. 

Mayor McGrath Welcomes New Citizens- Simon Tymkow, pictured with his wife Sarah, and son Asa with Yass Mayor Allan McGrath

Mr Tymkow is a carpenter by trade and is working as a builder; and said the opportunity to work in Australia is better than in the UK as there is less competition here. Along with professional opportunities, Mr Tymkow enjoys Australian society. 

“I think the Australian attitude is a lot more positive here. What brought us here was mainly the lifestyle, and obviously the weather is a lot better coming from the UK, we have family here as well.”

Mr Tymkow said receiving his citizenship is grounding as the family continues to live and work in Australia. 

“We’re definitely ready to integrate into Yass and see what Yass has got to offer,” he said. 

The Tymkow family are already involved in the local community through school groups and playgroups with their son Asa.

“We’re really ready to embrace the area, Yass Valley more than anything and definitely Australia as a whole,” said Mr Tymkow. 

Southerly Jones