True blue Aussies for the first time
FOR Tim Robertson, and his son Connor, 2, Australia Day is about to take on a whole new meaning.
From January 26 this year, the day will mark the anniversary of their Australian citizenship.
Mr Robertson said making the move from New Zealand to Australia was not a big decision, but getting his Australian citizenship was.
"Now you have to apply for permanent residency and go through the whole migration process," he said.
"I'd always intended to, partly because it's becoming more difficult to become a citizen over time."
Mr Roberston said the process involved sponsorships, health checks, frequent contact with the Department of Immigration, a lot of money and a lot of paper work.
The decision was also influenced my Mr Robertson's wife, Nami Kuribayashi, who, as a Japanese citizen, isn't covered by Medicare.
"When it came to the birth of our son, we decided it was time."
In the family of three, Mr Robertson will be a dual citizen, Ms Kuribayashi will maintain her Japanese citizenship (which doesn't allow for dual citizenship) and Connor Robertson will become a tri-citizen, holding an Australian, New Zealand and Japanese citizenship until he is old enough to decide which citizenship he wants to keep.
Mr Robertson said he made the cross-country move in 2002, to take advantage of a wider job market.
After working for local government in Sydney, Mr Robertson moved to Lismore in a bid to find more affordable housing.
The first time he visited the region was for a record management co-ordinator job with the Lismore City Council, which he was offered and has been working at ever since.
The couple met in 2005 while Mr Robertson was working in Japan.
They plan to spend Australia Day enjoying a relaxing barbeque.