New citizens embrace Wanneroo on Australia Day

Alkimos residents Schalk and Cristina Botha visited and explored Perth and WA first to see if they liked it before making the move more than four years ago.

THE City of Wanneroo hosted a special citizenship ceremony at its civic centre today.

Alkimos residents Schalk and Cristina Botha, Hayley Green of Butler and Joanne Crowley of Hocking were among the 62 new citizens and dependants who attended.

City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts congratulated the residents who became Australian citizens.

“Our region is proud of its rich mix of cultures and heritage, embracing ancient Aboriginal culture, the spirit of our pioneers who forged a future for the City of Wanneroo and a diverse mix of traditions and customs from across the world,” she said.

“As we welcome our new citizens today, it is clear that the common link that makes our city so special is a shared love for the many and varied stories from across our community. “There are so many stories that bind us.

The name ‘Wanneroo’ is a story in itself; ‘Wanna’ is the digging stick used by Aboriginal women, and ‘roo’ means ‘the place of’.

Alkimos residents Schalk and Cristina Botha said they moved to Perth from South Africa four-and-a-half years ago in order to give their children a safe future in a country with boundless opportunity.

Mr Botha said they first came to visit and explore Perth and WA first to see if they would like it, as his eldest son and his wife’s sister already lived here.

“We loved it almost immediately and decided to move when my wife was offered a job in Perth that made the move possible,’’ he said.

“We settled in Quinns Rocks initially and eventually moved to Alkimos, as there are many young families, it is a new development and is close to the beach.

“We have now purchased a lot in Alkimos and are starting the build process, as we love the area.”

They decided to become Australian citizens as they have two teenage children and the opportunities, protection and future Australian citizenship offers the taxpayer is immeasurable.

“It is a no brainer if you come out of South Africa,’’ he said.

Butler resident Hayley Green said they moved from the UK in August 2012 and their son Haydn was born here in 2015.

Hayley Green of Butler says her family decided many years ago to become citizens one day but being in WA during 2020 really cemented the fact they love living here.

“We previously lived in Melbourne for five years but decided to return to the UK,’’ she said. “After a year of being back home we really missed Australia and packed up once again and this time emigrated to WA.

“We chose to buy in Butler as it offered good value for money, was close to our children’s schools, had good transport links and good amenities.

“We decided many years ago that we would become citizens one day but I think being in WA during 2020 really cemented the fact that it is really our home now and we love living here. “WA is the safest place in the world and we are so lucky to call it home.

“Our eldest son Miles, 20, has just been accepted into WAAPA to study contemporary music and our daughter Isobel hopes to join him and study musical theatre next year.

“We are a family of performers with (Dad, Paul and Miles being in local cover bands, Isobel is studying musical theatre and can often be found busking at local food truck events and Mum Hayley runs Clarkson based dance school – Sing Dance Act WA ) and although Covid-19 did have an impact on the number of shows/gigs performed last year, we all still managed to continue to do what we love.

“We miss family of course but regularly keep up with all the news via FaceTime.

“We don’t miss anything else.’’

Joanne Crowley of Hocking said she and her family immigrated to Australia from Ireland in 2011 in the hope of finding a better life.

“We are so grateful for the opportunities we have gained while living in Western Australia,” she said.

“We love the Australian lifestyle and couldn’t have picked a better place in the world to immigrate to.

“We love the laid back culture of the Australian people and the diverse community that is here in Wanneroo.

“We hope to continue contributing to this wonderful nation.

“Go Raibh míle maith agat an Astráil!” 1

Attendees at the Australia Day ceremony enjoyed a barbeque breakfast provided by the scouts, before a Welcome to Country and didgeridoo performance by Dennis Simmons and presentation of the Australia Day awards.

During the past decade, the city has welcomed more than 7500 new citizens at Australia Day ceremonies, in addition to regular ceremonies held by the city throughout the year.

1 “Thank you very much Australia!” in Irish.