WAFl, Joondalup Arena, new Aussies, citizen, ceremony
IT takes two strong-minded parents to lead four young children on a journey to start a new life on the other side of the world.
Such was the ambition shown by English expats Ian and Claire Laverick when they moved to WA from Sunderland in October, 2008.
Almost seven years later, Perth will become home to six new Australians when the Lavericks and their children – Rachel (7), Adam (9), Katie (11) and Amy (12) – are sworn in as citizens in a special ceremony at Arena Joondalup on Saturday.
The family is among 78 City of Joondalup residents to earn citizenship in a curtain-raiser, of sorts, to West Perth’s top-of-the-table WAFL clash with Subiaco.
The day doubles as a celebration of the Falcons’ International Round, which promotes football to the district’s burgeoning population of migrants. About 6000 people are expected to attend the match.
Mr Laverick talked of how the family researched Australia intently before choosing WA as their new home.
“We had four children and decided West Australia had better prospects for them… just the way of life (here),” he said. “It’s good for them physically and mentally, but it’s good for us as well; we enjoy the fact they’ve got that opportunity.”
The Woodvale resident considered Australia’s citizenship test, where applicants answer general knowledge questions about the nation, a useful exercise and not too challenging.
He was looking forward to watching the WAFL game on Saturday, having seen just one match.
He admitted he was a rare expat who did not follow English football, lending his attention to his children’s love of basketball.
In fact, the family have planned an American end to follow their particularly Australian day at the football.
“We’ve got a full day planned, but in the evening we’re going to Perth Arena to see the Harlem Globetrotters,” he said.
The family is part of the 19 per cent of City of Joondalup residents born in the UK. More than 1550 people from 78 countries became Australian citizens in 21 City ceremonies last year.