Celebrating Australian Citizenship

Janet Woods rsm supports new arrivals to Australia who wish to become citizens.

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L-r: Janet Woods rsm, Hana Kojo, Government representative, Joseph Kajo

The City of Sydney holds regular citizenship ceremonies to welcome new Australians.

Janet Woods rsm attended two citizenship ceremonies this week, on 19th June and on World Refugee Day (20th June). The ceremonies were held at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) near Central Station Sydney. The two women who got their Australian citizenship are refugees, one from Sudan and one from South Sudan. They both attend English classes at Mamre House and have attended our Citizenship classes which helped them prepare for the citizenship test.

L-r: Janet Woods rsm with Achol Deng at conclusion of the ceremony

We have been conducting these Citizenship classes at Mamre House since 2007 and to date 53 women have passed the test and gained their Australian citizenship. This is quite amazing considering that most of the women spoke no English when they arrived in Australia and the majority had never been to school because of the 20 years war in Sudan.

Mamre House in St Marys was set up by the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy through Mary Louise Petro rsm and continued under our care for many years. It is now a work of Catholic Care Social Services.

"It has been a great joy and privilege for me to have been able to assist all these women to gain their citizenship and to rejoice with them at the Citizenship ceremonies", said Sr Janet.

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