More than 30 new Aussies were formally welcomed today at the Bundaberg Regional Council citizenship ceremony, some having waited decades to finally call Australia home.
It has been a moment 10 years in the making for Dr Antonino Capulong, who arrived in Bundaberg from the Philippines in the pursuit for building a better life for his family.
“I was born in the Philippines and I finished my medical degree there,” he said.
“I worked in Africa for two years and then went back to the Philippines for further training.”
“I had a growing family and decided in needed to improve my life.”
Dr Capulong said Bundaberg was his first area of arrival when making the journey almost a decade ago and he had not moved anywhere since.
“I submitted my resume and that was the start of my job,” he said.
“It has been ten years of anticipating and waiting to be finally recognised as a citizen of this country.
“I am proud to be a new member of Australia and to be bringing my own heritage and culture here.”
Citizenship ceremony: a full circle journey for Jean
The sentiment was echoed by Jean Erbacher, who said becoming an Australian citizen had been an emotional journey.
“I first came to Australia in the 1980s and I met my husband here,” she said.
“We went back to New Zealand and had two children. We spent 30 years in New Zealand.”
After her husband's longing to return to his homeland, Mrs Erbacher said the decision was made to become a permanent resident.
“We have lived in Delan for three years,” she said.
“I love the quality of life and the fact that you can earn a living and still support your family.
“My ancestors were from Australia and they moved to New Zealand in the 1800s. It is really good to have come the full circle.”
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