SEVEN years ago, Theophilus Nimene came to Australia to undertake a year of biblical studies.
Little did he know he would return two years later to marry the love of his life.
Mr Nimene, who was originally from Liberia, had been living in South Korea for four years studying Asian history and culture when he decided to spend a year at a bible college in Perth.
“I knew Australia had a good education system so it seemed logical to me,” the 30-year-old said.
“Then I met a woman.
“After I returned to South Korea, we both decided I would move back to join her in Australia.”
Mr Nimene soon returned and the couple were married in 2012 in a church in Girrawheen.
They now live in Edgewater with their three-year-old son.
Mr Nimene will join more than 330 City of Joondalup residents to become an Australian citizen at today’s Australia Day ceremony.
“It’s absolutely a privilege to become an Australian citizen,” Mr Nimene said.
“I am looking forward to taking part in the ceremony; it makes me feel special to become a citizen on Australia Day.
“Australia is a good country; it’s peaceful and has lots of opportunities.
“I like the ability to raise a family. It’s quiet and the population isn’t too congested.”
Today’s outdoor ceremony at Central Park will see candidates from 26 different countries including the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Thailand, Uganda and the US pledge their allegiance to Australia.
Paralympian Brant Garvey will provide this year’s keynote address as the 2017 Australia Day ambassador, while the Governor’s Citizen of the Year Awards for the City of Joondalup will also be presented to reward and recognise the outstanding community work of local individuals and organisations.