Relay runner Libby Egan (14) attended the City of Wanneroo’s Australia Day ceremony with her parents Grainne and Darren, and older siblings Sophie and Tom.
The family moved to Perth in 2008 from Salford in the UK and Mrs Egan said her youngest daughter’s athletic ability was only picked up by her Carramar Primary School teacher.
Mrs Egan said Libby participated in State championships, where her under-13 team won the 4x100m relay, and she also won gold for her age group in the 100m and 200m sprints.
She said they loved Perth because there was ‘always somewhere new to discover’ and they felt it had given them more opportunities.
‘My oldest daughter is studying her final year of nursing at ECU (and) Tom has done 12 months as an apprentice electrician,’ she said.
‘We don’t know that these opportunities would have arisen in the UK and we owe that to Perth.’
The Egans celebrated with two other families, the Bassons and Blakeleys, from the same small English town, who had moved here independently and by coincidence been invited to participate in the same citizenship ceremony.
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts led the citizenship oath and pledge on January 26, and presented AFL jumpers to the culturally diverse female team, the Butler Falcons.
‘I wish you all a happy, enjoyable, safe future, in what, I believe, is the best local authority, in the best state, in the best country in the world,’ Mrs Roberts said.
‘This ceremony is a rite of passage, and we now formally welcome you as citizens of Australia, a country built on a union of nations, beliefs and civic values.’
Premier Colin Barnett attended the Wanneroo ceremony and said new citizens had plenty to gain, but did not have to give up their past.
‘You keep your traditions, your family connections, your culture, but you do gain a lot,’ Mr Barnett said. ‘You’ll have the protection and care of Australia, wherever you are on the planet. You’ll have access to laws of Australia ” safety for you, and your family and for your property.’