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New pals call Australia home

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
Melissa Cross, pictured with husband Simon and children Flynn and Jasmyn, will become an Australia citizen on Sunday.
Camera IconMelissa Cross, pictured with husband Simon and children Flynn and Jasmyn, will become an Australia citizen on Sunday. Credit: Dian Sarah/Dian Sarah Photography, Dian Sarah

The City of Busselton welcomed 35 new citizens from 16 different nationalities today.

Residents from New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Africa, India, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Mozambique, Austria, Nepal, Kenya, Canada and Zimbabwe were naturalised at the ceremony hosted by the Busselton Geographe Bay Rotary Club this morning.

Ahead of the celebrations, the Times spoke to five residents about becoming citizens.

Busselton’s Charsley family have called the South West home for the 10 years they have lived in Australia.

Hailing from South Africa, Michelle, Wayne, Kyle, 19, and Mckayla, 16, will all become citizens on Sunday.

Michelle said they had decided to migrate to Australia for a better life for the children.

“It is really hard to explain, but the lifestyle here is so different,” she said. “They had the freedom to play outside, walk around wherever they wanted growing up here, and unfortunately you just don’t have that in South Africa.

“We call Australia home and could not imagine living anywhere else.”

Dorienne and Terry Baker love Australian life.Picture supplied
Camera IconDorienne and Terry Baker love Australian life.Picture supplied Credit: Picture supplied

Fellow South Africans Terry and Dorienne Baker have been in Australia for seven years.

They were originally drawn Down Under by work opportunities, but soon fell in love with the sunburnt country.

“We were retiring but a business opportunity came up and we couldn’t let it slip through our fingers,” Dorienne said.

“We saw it as an adventure but when we got here we went, ‘Oh no, we would like to settle here’.

“Now it is definitely home.”

Dorienne said they loved the people, lifestyle and natural beauty of Australia.

“Sunday will be a very happy day — a joyous occasion,” she said.

Pablo Naydenov has spent most of his life in Australia but will make his citizenship official.Picture: supplied
Camera IconPablo Naydenov has spent most of his life in Australia but will make his citizenship official.Picture: supplied Credit: Picture supplied.

Seventeen-year-old Pablo Naydenov was born in the Netherlands to Dutch and Bulgarian parents but has called Australia home for 13 years.

The Year 12 St Mary MacKillop College student said his family travelled the nation before settling in Busselton.

Pablo said he also had the desire to travel, and having dual citizenship would give him the opportunity to explore the world.

“I’m lucky that I have the double nationality so I will have an Australian and Dutch passport,” he said.

“We’ve had to renew my visa for a long time so this makes sense and I consider Australia my home.

“It is where I grew up, learnt the language, and went to school.”

Melissa Cross, pictured with husband Simon and children Flynn and Jasmyn, will become an Australia citizen on Sunday.
Camera IconMelissa Cross, pictured with husband Simon and children Flynn and Jasmyn, will become an Australia citizen on Sunday. Credit: Dian Sarah/Dian Sarah Photography, Dian Sarah

Melissa Cross of Canada is also excited to become a citizen.

Melissa moved to Australia 10 years ago after falling in love with her Aussie husband, Simon.

The pair have two children, Jasmyn, six, and Flynn, 18 months, who were both born here.

Melissa said she felt it was important for her to join her family and become a full-blown Aussie.

“This is where we are raising our family and I am so keen to finally become Aussie myself and be part of this country,” she said.

“I just love the beaches, the weather, the culture and the food.”

Joanne Law was inspired to move here by her father’s memories.
Camera IconJoanne Law was inspired to move here by her father’s memories.

Joanne Law originally came over from England in 1987 but only made the move 14 years ago.

Her journey to the Southern Hemisphere was prompted by her father’s fleeting stint in Australia.

“My father was a 10-pound Pom and came over as a kid,” she said.

“He would always talk about Australia and how much he loved it but his family had to go back to the UK when his dad got sick.

“For me, coming to Australia was an opportunity to start over again.

“I love it here and feel this country gives everyone a shot if they are willing to work hard.”

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