We are proud to call Australia home
  • Tuesday 22 January 2013

There is no question about it, 26 January will be an important milestone in the lives of 175 of the Coast’s newest Australian citizens.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson, will preside over the region’s largest citizenship ceremony on Australia Day where recipients will share stories that will inspire and reaffirm our belief that we live in one of the best places in the world – a land of opportunity.

One recipient Judith Thomson said that Australia Day 2013 will be especially meaningful for her family as it signifies the final step in a long hard journey.

“We left Ireland, like our forefathers before us impoverished and without a certain future,” she said.

“Unfortunately our business went into liquidation in Ireland and we were financially devastated but we had three children to provide for and giving up was simply not an option.

“We decided to immigrate to Australia and we began our new life in a country we had never visited before or had any family to rely upon.”

Mrs Thomson said in just over four years her husband Brendan has worked his way up to become General Superintendent of a large pipeline and civil works company and has had the privilege of working all over Australia.

“Our eldest son worked to support his way through university as he was unable to draw on HECS financial support. I am happy to say he graduated last May and has a degree in Environmental Science,” she said.

“Our daughter begins university next month but in the meantime works two jobs which she really enjoys.

“Our youngest son has just finished his primary education and I stay at home with our youngest daughter who was born in Australia, 11 months after we arrived.

“We now own our home, are surrounded by loving friends and have a simple but fulfilled life. We are exactly where we are meant to be and love it.

“We are incredibly proud of our achievements and this has inspired me to write a book about our journey though we know none of this would have been possible without the opportunities available here.

“Not only is Australia beautiful but the warmth of the welcome and the acceptance of the locals make it probably the best place in the world to call home and that’s exactly what this is - we are home - so thank you Australia for having us.”

The Australia Day citizenship ceremony will be held at The Events Centre @ Maroochy, (located above Maroochy RSL), corner of First Avenue and Memorial Avenue, Maroochydore from 9am to 11am on 26 January 2013.

In a first for the region, live streaming of the ceremony will take place allowing family members and friends to share this special day from anywhere in the world. To view the live streaming visit www.ustream.tv/channel/australia-day-citizenship-ceremony-2013. You can even elect to obtain a reminder so you don’t miss the live streaming – perfect for those who reside overseas or in different time zones.

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.