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Newest Aussies proud

Thursday, 27th January, 2011

New Australian citizens Jane, Karen, Kate and Andre Badenhorst and Sarika Shanker at the ceremony yesterday New Australian citizens Jane, Karen, Kate and Andre Badenhorst and Sarika Shanker at the ceremony yesterday

The Badenhorst family are the city's four newest citizens.

They were presented with their certificates of citizenship at yesterday's Australia Day ceremony at the Civic Centre.

Andre Badenhorst brought his wife Karen and three daughters Alice, Kate and Jane from South Africa to Australia four years ago. They spent one night in Adelaide before settling in to Broken Hill.

"I'm very, very proud. It's a great step forward and a great relief to actually, finally be in a position that we can say 'we're Australians' and I can get my

Australian passport and enjoy the privileges that an Australian does," Mr Badenhorst said.

"I can view myself as one of the team and not as an outsider looking into it. I can say I'm part of it."

Mr Badenhorst, who works in mine planning and development, said there were a lot of "cultural differences" between his old home and the new.

"There's a couple of Aboriginal languages different. South Africa's got 11 official languages," he said.

He said "from day one", the city has been nothing but welcoming, and said he came with an open mind.

"Everybody has been friendly. I've had a sort of policy that I'll speak to anybody and mix with anybody. (I) spent the first couple of years playing golf," he said.

Karen Badenhorst said she thought it was "very cool" to be now be a certified Australian.

"I'm actually ecstatic about it, it's great," Mrs Badenhorst told the BDT.

"It's sort of an end to a very long journey."

She said after more than four years in the city, the family had a busy social life.

"We've got a great social network and we seem to be pretty well-known around town."

Andre and Karen's daughter Alice, who is currently living in Sydney, was also made a citizen of Australia this week.

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