IRISH-BORN Mary Quirke-Naughton says she has fallen in love with Australia and her life in Maylands.
The sales and marketing manager and her husband Cathal Naughton are among 59 City of Bayswater residents to become Australian citizens at an Australia Day ceremony held this week.
The pair will soon celebrate their fifth anniversary in Australia, when they arrived with two suitcases and their “lives packed in them” and crashed at Ms Quirke-Naughton’s childhood friend’s house.
She said her Mr Naughton, then her boyfriend, could not get work in Ireland as a quantity surveyor due to the country’s recession.
“Everyone said Perth had the best weather plus there were talks of a mining boom,” she said.
Ms Quirke-Naughton said her first impression of WA was “it was incredibly hot”.
The couple both did a regional work stint to qualify for their second-year visa and were joined not long after by Ms Quirke-Naughton’s sister, Caroline Quirke, and her partner Thomas Trowen.
She said her employer put her forward for permanent residency.
“I think Australian people really appreciate the Irish work ethic and appreciate our loyalty and what we give to work,” she said.
“You do fall in love with the lifestyle, you do fall in love with the Australian people … the weather really brings out the best in people.
“We’re very honoured and privileged to become citizens, and for it to happen on Australia Day.”
Mayor Barry McKenna said the city was proud to embrace all cultures within its boundaries which helped make Bayswater vibrant.