EXCITEMENT is building for the Lee family of Duncraig and some 300 others set to become Australian citizens on Saturday in Joondalup’s Central Park.
Jake and Julie Lee and their daughter Jenny (17) came to Australia about seven years ago from South Korea and have been eager to take the pledge.
“I will be able to tell anyone I’m Australian now,” Jake, an antenna installer, said.
The Lees will be joined in the City of Joondalup ceremony by people from countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Turkey.
None will have waited for Australian citizenship as long as Marmion resident Valerie McIntyre.
Valerie, who arrived in Australia with her parents as a teenager in January 1959 as a ‘10-pound Pom’, will officially become an Aussie almost 60 years to the day since she first set foot on Australian soil.
So what prompted the long-time permanent resident to become an Australian citizen after all this time? After all, laws at the time provided her with voting rights in Australia.
“I am looking forward to getting an Australian passport at last. I recently travelled back to the UK on a British passport and came to the realisation that I am now more Australian than I am English,” she said.
Mayor Albert Jacob said Valerie was one of about 40 per cent of the City’s 161,000 residents born overseas.
The City’s Community Citizen of the Year Awards will be presented.
Professor Colleen Hayward will provide the keynote address.