Eleven Warrnambool residents made their pledge to Australia today in what many said was the final piece of the puzzle to their long and sometimes difficult journey.
There was hardly a cloud in the sky as families filed into the Lighthouse Theatre to support their loved ones and attend the city's annual Australia Day ceremony.
Gunditjmara woman Adeline Thomas welcomed the crowd before guest speaker and Olympic weightlifter Damian Brown recalled some of his proudest moments representing the country.
Warrnambool mayor Richard Ziegeler then took to the stage to announce Australia's newest citizens.
"Making the pledge is the final step in becoming an Australian citizen," Mr Ziegeler said.
"It's a decision not only welcomed by me but by all Australians. 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."
Among those to gain citizenship was Glaiza Dela Torre Galicia from the Philippines, who has called Warrnambool home for nearly four years.
"It's been an incredible journey and finally we're citizens," she said.
"We're so excited to not do anymore paperwork and we're looking forward for more in the future, like undertaking studies at university. We're going out to have a barbecue now - very Australian, but we're going to throw in some Filipino culture as well. The best of both worlds."
She was joined by family members Gloria Enderby, Abbraine Jewelle Galicia Yuson and Hazel Dela Torre Galicia.
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Bruce Alexander from South Africa, who has lived in Warrnambool for three years, said he now "feels complete".
"It feels amazing, I feel like I can fully commit to Australia's lifestyle and to the community - it feels complete," he said.
"I'm South African born and bred, I moved to the UK and spent 16 years there before coming to Australia.
"When I first saw Warrnambool eight years ago when I came on holiday I knew I wanted to be here. I've been to Aquazone so many times I moved to Warrnambool to take up a job there."
Mr Ziegeler then announced the Australia Day Award recipients, including Colleen Hughson (Citizen of the Year), Garry Price (Local Achiever) TEDx Warrnambool, represented by organiser Helen Sheedy (Event of the Year).
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