THERE’S not much New Zealand and Australia don’t have in common, but for one New Zealand national, strengthening the Anzac bond and feeling more a part of his family will be significant on Australia Day.
Stoneville resident Cameron Riley will be one of 40 Shire of Mundaring residents who will receive their citizenship on Australia Day, following an 18-month process to citizenship.
Mr Riley said that since moving to Australia from New Zealand he has felt nothing but great mate-ship and welcome.
“Australia and New Zealand have for a long time held a strong bond,” he said.
“To receive my citizenship also means being a part of a family and not just the big Australian one.
“ My wife and children are Australian so for me I feel more a part of my own family.
“As I continue on with dual citizenship, I look forward to strengthening friendships and the Anzac spirit between us as well as being able to pick and choose my sports teams.”
Mr Riley first immigrated to Australia in 2008 when he moved to Townsville to further his pilot’s career.
In 2014, he and his wife moved to Greenmount before starting their family and moving to Stoneville to enjoy the space and freedom of the hills.
“It’s a simpler old school way of life up here,” he said.
“The kids can run off outside and just disappear and we have chickens and bees keeping us busy. Readily on display in my backyard there are bandicoots and parrots of every description.
“Getting out to the lake, the trails or the pubs is so easy with everything so close by.
“We have made some amazing friendships up here in the hills and I love that you always bump into people you know at the local shops.
“Mundaring has a great small community vibe and most days it just feels like I have left my problems at the bottom of the hill.”
Along with five other New Zealand nationals, this year’s conferring residents have come from Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Shire President Paige McNeil said she welcomed the shire’s newest citizens.
“Congratulations to our 40 conferring residents,” she said.
“We are thrilled that you have chosen our much-loved Shire of Mundaring as your new home.
“We take pride in the diversity that defines our hills community, where a rich tapestry of cultures and heritage weaves together to create a truly unique and vibrant identity.”
As part of the citizenship ceremony, the shire will recognise and celebrate the significant contribution of volunteers on community life and active citizenship through awarding the annual shire citizenship awards.
Each quarter, the shire holds citizenship ceremonies on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs.
Residents who have had approval of Australian Citizenship from the department can contact the shire on 9290 6604 to find out about upcoming ceremonies.