As soon as we had the required time living in Australia we applied for Australian citizenship in Melbourne.
It was planned for us to take the oath and to attend a citizen ceremony until Skypak asked me to move to Sydney, which put an end to our citizenship plans in Melbourne.
We had to start all over again in Sydney once we were settled into our own house, rather than the rented accommodation in which we lived for about six months.
Maureen & I were interviewed to make sure we were suitable citizens and after the interview we were asked to swear allegiance to Australia, and to Queen Elizabeth the second of Australia.
Being pedantic I could not help myself and said that Queen Elizabeth was Queen Elizabeth the first of Australia, not Queen Elizabeth the second, because Australia had not been discovered during Queen Elizabeth the first’s reign.
Being a smart alec at such a time, was not my best move –
‘Do you wish to become an Australian?’ I was asked, which I answered,
‘Then swear the oath’ – I swore the oath.
The above picture is just the top part of my certificate there is more, but I just wanted the coat of arms and my name.
All new citizens were ‘processed’ as detailed above, but it is not until Australia Day, 26th January, do we attend a ceremony to be presented with our certificate. This takes place in the applicant’s local area and the dignitary who officiates at the presentation might be the local Federal or State politician or in our case was our local President of our local Council (Mayor).
There were a lot of us who were becoming Australian citizens, from a mix of races and backgrounds. The Shire President (Mayor), who had a Scottish accent, gave a speech of welcome and Maureen and I had a problem understanding some of the President’s speech and when I looked around there were several blank faces, particularly amongst the Asian and African new Australians. The President’s accent was quite strong.
The family with the President of Sutherland Shire.
After the ceremony our native-born Australian friends had a party for us and presented us with a box of Australian items considering that we were now Australian.
Australian beer, Vegemite, Arnot’s biscuits, Koon cheese etc.
and of course, a homemade cake.
I had exchanged . . .
nothing had changed because passport control love to use their stamps . . .
Both Australia and the UK have historically strong links so dual nationality is not a problem for both countries.
When I travel I always carry both passports because certain third countries favour Australia over the UK and visa-versa e.g a visa to visit Vietnam is free for a British passport holder, and about $70 to $90 for an Australian passport holder, so dual nationality has a cost benefit.
Before I became an Australian citizen I travelled around the Pacific Islands, Hong Kong & the United States on my British passport.
After I became an Australian I travelled as an Australian to the same destinations and many other destinations without a problem.
I must admit that arriving in the UK on a British is easier and quicker with a British passport than an Australian passport holder, all due to the UK being a member of the EEC.
It will be interesting to see what happens now that the UK has left the EEC.
I had hardly got my feet under the table at Skypak (now TNT Skypak) that I was offered the operations manager’s position running the UK.
I turned the job down because it had taken us two years to migrate, and I was happy with the Australian life style.