The 26th of January is quite a special day for Ivan, Elizabeth and I, as we became Australian citizens on this day. We were lucky to attend the ceremony at Brisbane City Hall and finished the day with a visit to the beach.
Australia became our home in October 1992 and we became citizens in January 1995. We left South Africa for a safer life and Australia has given us a good one.
As a family born in many locations (Ivan - Northern Ireland, Beverly and Elizabeth - South Africa and Matthew and Sarah - Queensland and Victoria, Australia); we often wonder where we belong. Our many moves have left us feeling as though we are children of the world rather than of any single place.
My soul belongs to Africa, to the dry, dust that you can only breathe as you step off the plane in Johannesburg. I feel the connection, but the years of troubles and fear have meant that I can never again claim it as home. Australia is my place of residence, it is the country where two of my children have been born and the place that I call home. The one country however, that I fell in love with, was the USA. Our three years living there were amazing and so often I hanker to return.
Yet, today as always on Australia Day, I am thankful and grateful for such an amazing country, where people are equal and free. Where my children can be safe and grow up in health and have a good education. Australians are very blessed and I am thankful to be one as well.