Lismore celebrates Australia Day
IT WAS nearly standing room only at Lismore City Hall today as the city celebrated Australia Day with a citizenship ceremony and the annual awards presentation.
For newly-conferred citizen Alice Sessa, formerly from Italy, it was difficult to try and keep the smile off her face.
As an Australian resident for eight years, Ms Sessa said as soon as she moved to Lismore seven and a half years ago, she instantly fell in love with the charm of the Northern Rivers.
"Within a week I was like 'I love Lismore', and I didn't want to be anywhere else," Ms Sessa said.
Ms Sessa was just one of nearly 60 residents who became new Australian citizens in the ceremony, which saw one of the largest crowds in recent years.
Lismore City Council mayor Isaac Smith officiated the citizenship ceremony, and said the role was "one of my most cherished tasks".
"It's amazing to be able to be a part of welcoming our residents officially to our country," he said.
"It's something which is quite exciting and quite special for all involved."
This year's Australia Day ambassador Lorraine Gordon spoke of the city's resilience in recovering from natural disaster as well as looking to the future in combating the growing risks caused by climate change.
Immediately following the pledging of Australia's newest citizens, the Australia Day awards were presented.
Decorated police officer Senior Constable David Henderson was recognised as the 2020 Lismore citizen of the year for both his service with Richmond Police District, as well as his tireless efforts as a NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter.