When I first came to Australia I arrived on a Temporary Residents Visa in January 2002.
Within the first year of living in Perth I set up a deckchair hire business on the beach at Scarborough, and spent the summer of 2002/2003 sat on the beach watching the world go by. Right next door an Italian guy called Romano had set up a bungee-trampoline business, and we spent many hours lounging on deckchairs, chatting and drinking coffee, or practicing on the trampoline when he had no customers.
We became very good friends, and had both recently arrived in Australia from Europe.
At that time, one of my goals was to gain my Australian Citizenship, and get an Australian passport. For me this would be fairly straight-forward, as I was married to an Australian citizen. Romano had the same goal, but he had to try to achieve this via a different route, by operating a business for several years, investing a certain amount of capital, employing a certain amount of Australians, etc.
After two years as a Temporary Resident I became a Permanent Resident, and two years later I was eligible to apply for my citizenship. I did so, and on 26th January 2006 I became a proud Australian.
This is the day it happened:
I haven’t seen Romano for quite a while now, although we have kept in touch. I got a message from him just the other day saying that he was running an event in the city, and yesterday I headed into town to catch up with him. I found him, as I might have expected to, sipping an espresso at the cafe, and joined him.
I was very pleased to find out that things were going very well for him, that business was thriving, and that he too had finally become an Australian citizen. Congratulations, Romano. Good on ya, cobber!
The pictures below show Romano’s brilliant “Snow In The City” event. Bear in mind that this is Perth, where it NEVER snows. Most of these kids have never seen snow, and it was great to see their faces the first time they made a snowball.