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New citizens join Gunnedah Shire on Australia Day

27 January, 2023

Gunnedah Shire welcomed two new citizens on Australia Day.

Francisco Carreno Duarte (originally from Mexico) and Noel Chalibbulaca (originally from Zambia) officially became citizens of Australia in a ceremony under the gum trees in ANZAC Park on Thursday.

The ceremony was held as part of the full day of events across the Shire and was officiated by Mayor Cr Jamie Chaffey and attended by community members and supporting family members.

The two new citizens received their Citizenship Certificates from The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC and took the Australian citizenship pledge of commitment, making them officially Australian citizens.

Cr Chaffey said it was exciting to welcome the Shire’s first new citizens for 2023.

“I’d like to congratulate Francisco Carreno Duarte and Noel Chalibbulaca on becoming our newest citizens,” he said.

“As the Shire continues to grow, it’s wonderful to see our multicultural ties strengthened and our community becoming more inclusive as we celebrate those who are choosing to make Australia and Gunnedah Shire home.”

Gunnedah Shire welcomed 25 new citizens in 2022.  

For more information about Australian Citizenship Day, visit

Caption: Gunnedah Shire’s newest Australian citizens Noel Chalibbulaca (Zambia) and Francisco Carreno Duarte (Mexico) with Gunnedah Shire Deputy Mayor Rob Hooke, Mayor Jamie Chaffey, Gunnedah Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador John Anderson AC, Cr Kate McGrath and The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC (Minister for Education and Early Learning) on Australia Day.


For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.