Australia Day is celebrated annually on 26th January. It marks the anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival in Port Jackson, New South Wales, by the British in 1788. Celebrations throughout the nation includes official community awards and citizenship ceremonies (to name a few), which welcomes new immigrants into the Australian communities. A day of recognition and celebrations.
I recall my experience…
Living in South Wales, (UK) and my Godfather coming from New South Wales, Australia for our wedding. He was a great story-teller and hearing the tales of Oz, I knew this was where I needed to be.
A few years passed and with a young family to think about, Australia’s call became stronger with each passing year. The harsh winters in Wales made my dreams of blue skies and sunshine more vivid and momentum grew.
We decided to bite the bullet and apply for permanent residence here. Were thrilled when it was granted! Sold everything we owned and with sight unseen, took flight – not as a £10 POME*, but as full paying passengers. As we were descending at Kingsford Smith airport in Sydney, I looked at my husband and said, ‘We’re home!’
Eager to become Australian citizens, we applied as soon as we arrived. Of course, we had to wait the allotted time before we were actually eligible, but I was keen to stay here.
With Citizenship granted, we’ve been proud Australian for over thirty years!
Images of celebrations in our local community:
*POME = Prisoner of Old Mother England – a name used to describe immigrants from Britain, as convicts were sent here to penal colonies. It’s a name that stuck for a while although seldom used now.