Australia Day was extra special for seven local residents this year as they officially became citizens of their beloved new country.
The citizens were welcomed with a citizenship ceremony at the Station Domain Australia Day celebration on January 26.
Coming from countries around the globe including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the UK, the new citizens were welcomed by Maryborough with cheers and applause.
Barbara Sparks was one of the seven who became an Australian citizen, but her history with Australia is a little longer than most new citizens.
Barbara has been in the country for 61 years after immigrating to Australia in 1958 at the age of three with her family from Manchester, England.
“Because I was only young when I came here, I just always classed myself as an Australian,” she said.
“Back then I just became a permanent resident.”
Ms Sparks originally settled with her family in Broadmeadows before moving to Campbells Creek around 10 years ago and then making the move to Maryborough two years ago.
Ms Sparks said she has always considered herself an Australian but that she was glad to make it official.
For more on this story see Page 4 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, February 5