Sibele Lima could not contain her joy after becoming an Australian citizen on Sunday.
"I'm very emotional. Very grateful. It's one of the happiest days of my life," the 33-year-old IT specialist said after repeating the citizenship oath and receiving a certificate at Civic Theatre.
"I think it means I'm comfortable living here and I'm happy to spend the rest of my life here."
Ms Lima moved to Australia five years ago from Curitiba, a city of almost 2 million people in southern Brazil.
She said Newcastle, and Australia in general, was much safer than her home city, which was blighted by crime and violence.
"I always loved travelling. Being embraced by a totally different culture, it's a special thing," she said.
"The Newcastle community is great."
Ms Lima was one of more than 260 new citizens from 40 countries at the Civic on Sunday.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes told the crowd that it was the largest Australia Day citizenship ceremony in NSW.
Pockets of cheering broke out in the audience as each new Australian stepped on stage.
Ms Lima lives in Wickham and works at Provet, a Charlestown company which distributes veterinary products.
She loves the beach and maintains a cultural link to Brazil by practising jiu-jitsu.
"Of course, my heart is still in Brazil," she said.
"I love Brazil, and my family is still there. Sometimes I feel a bit torn about which I love the most, but I'm very committed, and I hope one day I can give back to the community.
"Now that I'm a citizen I can fully commit."