The feeling of security is one of the main reasons Rani Dogra loves living in Iluka.
She also puts it down to the beautiful weather and friendly people.
Next Tuesday, Ms Dogra will take part in the City of Joondalup’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony – its biggest stand-alone ceremony for local residents in history with 350 candidates taking the pledge.
Ms Dogra said she was “really excited” to become a citizen and chose the Australia Day event for its significance.
“I will always remember it; it’s very easy to forget dates,” she said.
Ms Dogra was an employee of the United Nations (UN) for 18 years, 11 of which were spent at the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda. After she was invited to attend a closing ceremony, she decided she did not want to go back to Kenya.
“I’m a widow and my children are living in England to study,” she said.
“My brother lived in Australia and he said ‘why don’t you apply to come here’?
“It was a big decision but once I got my visa, I thought about it for two years; I left it until the last possible moment so I was mentally ready.”
She said her main worry about moving to Perth was how she would make friends but she said she has made great friends through volunteering at the Joondalup Volunteer Resource Centre, working at the Joondalup Library and her seasonal role updating the website for the Royal Agricultural Society of WA in the lead up to the Perth Royal Show.
“I also take lessons and play a lot of golf where I have made lovely friends,” she said.
The ceremony will be held at the northern section of Central Park in Joondalup, near the war memorial.
The City has never hosted a ceremony of this size, involving only Joondalup residents, since it became a City in 1998.
Suicide prevention advocate Ashlee Harrison will speak as this year’s Australia Day Ambassador, while the 2016 Premier’s Australia Day Citizenship Awards to recognise the outstanding community work of active local residents will also be presented.