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John and Alison Coles enjoy the Australian sun, a far cry from the conditions they endured in North Wales.

Nearly 150 migrants made Australian citizens

AUSTRALIA Day is about more than just barbecues, vegemite and celebrating our national identity.

For a select few across the Echo News readership, it’s about finally taking the plunge and becoming Australian citizens.

The Cities of Swan and Kalamunda, along with the Shire of Mundaring, all held citizenship ceremonies on Friday.

Kalamunda led the way, granting 65 residents citizenship, while the City of Swan inducted around 50 new citizens and the Shire of Mundaring 30.

John and Alison Coles, along with their 10-year-old son Thomas, took part in the City of Swan’s citizenship ceremony.

The family, who live in Brabham, moved to Australia from North Wales just over five years ago, and John said it was a tremendous honour to become an Australian citizen.

“It’s been a relatively easy process for us and it was a straightforward decision,” he said.

“We moved to Australia because we wanted a better life and we wanted more opportunities for Thomas.

“He’s going to school in Guildford and the opportunities that are open to him are far, far more than he would have had, had we stayed in Wales.”

John, a public health officer and Alison, a risk manager, spent time in the Kimberly region and in the Wheatbelt and said the Australian climate also played a major part in deciding to take the plunge.

“In North Wales you wouldn’t see the sun for months,” he said.

“When we had the rain go through a couple of weeks ago, we started to get itchy feet, it felt like Wales all over again.

“I’ve honestly got no idea how we coped in Wales, it’s surprising just how much of a factor the weather plays.”

Going perhaps against trend, John said he was now more than willing to abandon the Welsh Rugby Union team.

“No I’ll definitely side with the Wallabies now, and if we actually beat the Kiwis I’ll finally support a winning team.”

Spoken like a true Australian.

About Liam Ducey

Liam Ducey is an experienced journalist, having worked in print media in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Port Hedland, Bunbury and across the metropolitan area, as well as online for several Fairfax Media mastheads. His reporting has seen him awarded the 2013 Clubs WA award for Best Club Media Story and the Western Australian Football Commission Umpiring Media Award in 2014. He was a finalist in three categories in the 2018 WA Media Awards and is not at all salty that he didn't win at least one. He's recently had a baby girl, Emilia, with his wife Roselyn and has lost all concept of time and sleep.

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