- Wednesday 12 November 2014
Two hundred and sixty-one local residents will officially become Sunshine Coast’s newest Australian Citizens at a ceremony at Sunshine Coast Grammar School today, Wednesday, November 12 at 6pm.
For two recipients, Karen (31) and Prince Harry (30) Gebusion from the Philippines, now living in Caloundra, the ceremony is the realisation of a shared dream that brought them together six years ago and led them to the Sunshine Coast.
Karen said it was when Prince Harry – born on the same day as his famous royal namesake – confided his aspirations to study postgraduate qualifications overseas, exactly the same as her own, that a connection was sparked.
“Soon after we met working at a provincial hospital in 2008 where I was a surgical registrar and Harry was a theatre nurse, we started chatting about our hopes and dreams for the future while waiting for the next case to come through the theatre,” she said.
“Despite neither of us having any friends or family in Australia, this came up as a place where we felt our luck would be, and everything happened very quickly after that.
“A couple of months later we were married and sitting the required exams for visas and qualifications to work professionally and study in Australia.”
Karen said there were still many challenges they faced along the way.
“After two years of applying online for hospital placements in Australia with no success, Harry and I were starting to lose hope,” she said.
“But then good fortune shined on us both, with Harry receiving a placement in Rockhampton and I in Blacktown in May 2010.
“My parents also tried to stop us from going as they had a business they hoped to keep in the family however we promised we would try our luck for a maximum of five years and return if things didn’t work out.
“But, we fell in love with the place, the people, the culture. We blended in well. We loved our jobs. We made it our home.
“My parents eventually visited us when we were still in Blacktown and again when we had moved to the Sunshine Coast.
“After visiting this amazing country, they were quick to support our decision and they even hope to move here themselves one day or at the very least plan to visit regularly.”
Today you will find Karen working as a GP in Caloundra while Prince Harry is a practice nurse in Maleny.
“We are very happy with our life on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.
“To officially become Australian Citizens will be our shared dream coming true all these years later.”
Australian citizenship ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held bi-monthly at locations across the region. Visit Council’s website for further information on Australian Citizenship Ceremonies.