“Do I look any different?” is a question I’ve jokingly asked a few people this week. “Why?” you might ask. Well…..because I’m an Australian now!! I may not sound like one but I am a fully fledged Australian citizen! I have lived in Australia for a combined 6 years (1 year in 2004 and currently since October 2007) and have always had a variety of visas but now my life is made much simpler. Most exciting: I can go into the short passport line at the airport rather than “All other passports”!!
My ceremony was on November 9th at the Department of Immigration in Brisbane. They had originally marked me down for the January 26 Australia Day ceremony, which would have been totally cool except for the fact I won’t be in the country in January. I called and explained my dilemma (and virtually begged) and they moved me to the departmental ceremony. My boss’ wife is English and she decided to do her citizenship at the same time as me so it was a nice thing to share.
On the day, it was quite quick. I rushed home from work (the boss kindly let me take off early) and got a bit dolled up. The boss picked me up and we headed into the city for lunch before the 2pm ceremony. I decided I would like to have someone at the ceremony for me; after all, my boss was there to support his wife so I thought I should have someone for me. I asked Morgan aka my Aussie mum and the mother of a friend from physio. Morgan met us for lunch at a lovely Italian cafe and we then headed across to the department.
Once we got into the room, we filled out paperwork to go on the electoral roll, picked up our Pledge and grabbed a chair. The man conducting the ceremony read a message from the Immigration Minister and then invited those reading Pledge 1 (with the words “under God”) to stand and repeat their pledge. Those who had a Pledge sans God then repeated theirs and we were told “Congratulations, you’re all Australian citizens now”. After that, each person was called up individually to receive their certificate, just like graduation. Then we all stood and sang along to the Australian National Anthem (lyrics provided thank you) and the deed was done. We were in and out in 20 minutes. Seriously. It was good and bad being that quick I think. Good that we didn’t have to sit for hours and listen to boring speeches but a bit bad that such a momentous occasion was so bloody quick. Ah well.
I sent in my passport application yesterday and should have it next week. Once I get that, I’m considering opening a safety deposit box. Why you ask? Well to fully become an international woman of mystery, like the female version of Jason Bourne! Once I have 2 passports, I’ll add to my collection of 2 driver’s licences and a variety of currencies from my travels therefore I’ll pretty much be the female Jason Bourne! Hahahaha. I might even throw in a piece of paper with a random set of numbers and letters just to be authentic.
I am greatly looking forward to changing nationalities mid-air. After all, now I must leave and enter Australia on an Australian passport and leave and enter Canada on a Canadian passport. Best part of that: definitely going into the short passport line at both the Canadian and Australian airports! Yippee!!!