By Morgan de Smidt
TUESDAY marked exactly 10 years since the Broido family moved to Australia from Switzerland.
This Australia Day they will take the pledge to become Australian citizens, joining 31 other City of Kalamunda residents from 18 different countries.
Susanne Broido, originally from Sweden, met her Swiss husband Victor and together they raised two children Anton, 16 and Filippa, 14, in Switzerland.
The family immigrated to Australia in 2012 to join Victor’s business partner in Geraldton, moving from the snow to the bleating sun of WA’s mid-west.
“We moved in January from about -10 degrees to almost 40 degrees, but we loved the beach and we felt like we were on holiday,” Mrs Broido said.
“It was very different at first, Australians are very open and friendly, so it was easy to get to know people.
“We almost feel more Australian than Swedish and Swiss.”
Although the move was not met without challenges, particularly for Anton and Filippa who were six and four at the time.
“I had to leave all my friends behind, and I didn’t speak any English so that was hard,” Anton said.
“Mum and dad put me in school, and it took two months before I could speak English.”
He was also surprised to learn there weren’t as many native animals around as he’d thought.
“It was made to seem like there should’ve been kangaroos everywhere all the time but there weren’t really,” he added.
After falling in love with the lifestyle, abundance of trees and tight-knit community, the Broido’s moved to Gooseberry Hill in 2015 and have lived in the hills since.
Mrs Broido said the family felt delighted to receive their citizenships on the 26th and were happy to be celebrating at home.
“We feel very proud, it is something we have been longing for,” she said.
“We feel Australian even though we are also proud to be Swedish and Swiss.”
This year at least six ceremonies will be held at the City of Kalamunda’s Administration Centre.
“Australian citizenship is a great privilege and a commitment to our country’s shared values, including equality and opportunity for all people,” mayor Margaret Thomas said.
“I look forward to welcoming this group of new Australians into our community.”
The City is hosting an Australia Day Pool Party on Wednesday, January 26 at Kalamunda Water Park.