Adelaide lawyer Belal Moraby officially welcomed new Australian citizens as part of his role as an Australia Day Ambassador.
Moraby, one of South Australia’s few Muslim lawyers, was also an Ambassador in 2012.
Below is his speech, read at the City of Unley’s Australia Day Ceremony on January 26:
Ladies & Gentlemen, Elected Members, Distinguished guests, the Honorable Mayor Clyne,
I acknowledge the Aboriginal custodians & our new Citizens.
I am honored to be here today to welcome our new Citizens.
It is a significant milestone in your lives and I congratulate you on choosing to be a citizen of Australia. I also congratulate our Award recipients.
I am a proud Australian and in particular a proud South Australian.
I feel that we are very fortunate to be living here.
We have a beautiful climate, a safe environment, a relatively stable economy, and our education and health system is fairly good.
We really are very lucky to be able to live our lives in such circumstances.
I was born and bred in South Australia.
I am a lawyer – don’t hold that against me.
In terms of my background I would say that it is a little out of the ordinary.
My father emigrated from Lebanon in 1970s and my mother is from rural NSW where her father was a spud/potato farmer. Very different backgrounds but both my parents are hardworking people with a strong sense of responsibility.
I guess you can say that I have learnt to be accepting and tolerant of different customs and ways of life.
Australia is full of diversity – culture, languages and creeds.
Our workforce is made up of people from all the around world. We have restaurants and shops that represent just about every culture you can think of.
I strongly believe it is this diversity that makes us a successful country.
To me, being Australian means being tolerant and open minded and striving to better oneself.
I have been fortunate to travel to different parts of the world and as much as I love travelling I have to say that I enjoy the experience of returning home to Adelaide just as much.
To our new Citizens – we have so much to do and so many places to see such as the Flinders Ranges and Yorke Peninsula, only a couple of hours away, and even closer to home, Waterfall Gully and Kangaroo Island.
Last year I was fortunate to travel to Ayers Rock and I returned home via the Oodnadatta Track in my 4×4 vehicle. I got to see the old Ghan Railway and soak in a hot spring. I even managed to avoid getting taken by dingoes.
Finally, my message to our new Citizens is: Australia is a warm tolerant country with a relaxed feel and genuine people.
Take advantage of that, work hard, relax and enjoy what Australia has to offer.
I wish you all the very best.
Author: Belal Moraby
Contact Belal Moraby on (08) 8212 1077.