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25 January, 2022

Australia Day extra special for new citizens

PEOPLE from across the globe have made their humble homes on the Tablelands for many years, with some making the decision of a lifetime to say, “I am Australian”.

By Ellie Fink

Every year on 26 January, people come together to celebrate all things Australian. After 13 years, Denada Harriman from Albania has chosen Australia Day to take the oath and become an Australian citizen. She will celebrate with proud husband Christopher and 14-month-old baby Lukas.

Today (Australia Day) Denada Harriman from Mareeba and Irina Gishnina-Atanmsova and Orlin Atnanmsov from Atherton, will be granted their citizenships at local ceremonies. 

Travelling all the way from Albania in Eastern Europe over a decade ago, Denada came to Australia to marry the man she loved. 

“I am from Albania in Europe, and I came to Australia 13 years ago on spouse visa to marry my husband Christopher,” she said. 

“I knew him through my cousins who live here in Mareeba, he was best friends with their son and because of this, I came to Australia. 

“It feels really good to become a citizen because you feel the same as everybody else and get the same rights – you feel welcomed, like it’s your home.” 

Irina Gishnina-Atanmsova and Orlin Atanmsov travelled from Bulgaria to the Atherton Tablelands 6 years ago, deciding to make it their new home.

Denada and Christopher also welcomed their baby boy Lukas into the world 14 months ago, who will proudly watch his mummy become a citizen on Australia Day alongside their family. 

Irina and Orlin, who previously lived in Bulgaria, came to Australia just six years ago and fell in love with the scenery and the climate. 

“We came here in 2015 from Bulgaria where we lived for 15 years with our two children who were doing university and school and we decided that we will be staying here,” Irina said. 

“It is exactly what we were after, the weather, the nature and the people are great.” 

“It is exciting, and we are little bit nervous as well to become a part of another country and our son is also having his ceremony in Melbourne on the same day which is exciting,” Orlin said. 

All three recipients have been invited by their councils to accept their citizenships at the Australia Day ceremonies this year, once and for all making Australia their home.

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