Special day for new Aussies
This Australia Day will be special for Albany’s Roald and Irma Van Wyk.
They will join 18 other local residents who will take the oath and become Australian citizens at the Australia Day Citizenship ceremony.
The couple, who moved to Australia in 2009, will join residents from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, India, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and South Africa on Saturday and spend their first Australia Day as citizens.
Mr Van Wyk, environmental health officer at the City of Albany, said his time in Australia had been excellent and peaceful.
“Both my wife and I are from South Africa,” he said.
“We’ll be married for 16 years in March and almost 10 of those years we’ve been living in Albany.
“We can’t wait for Saturday, it’s very special and we feel privileged and glad to officially be Australians.”
Mr Van Wyk said he’d had his eye on Australia since his student days, thinking it would be a lovely place to visit.
“Fortunately the doors opened for us when we started to think about immigration and the City of Albany had a vacancy at the time for an environmental health officer, for which I applied, and the rest is history,” he said.
The soon-to-be Australian citizen said it was a blessing to be granted citizenship this Saturday.
“It means sharing a country with people who really care about their land and respect each other, regardless of their background and we share these same values and are grateful to be accepted as Australians,” he said. “We are looking forward to the ceremony to celebrate our first Australia Day as Australians.”