26 January 2009
NZ's All Black hero becomes an Australian citizen
On Australian citizenship's 60th anniversary, a New Zealand hero has joined 4 million other immigrants to become one of Australia's citizens since the programme began, reports The Telegraph.
David Kirk, being the only All Black to captain his team to a Rugby Union World Cup Grand Final win, is held as a national hero in New Zealand, yet for the past ten years he has made Australia his home.
Despite joining the record numbers of people in their citizenship ceremony today (which reached 13,000 people), Kirk resolutely confirmed his devotion to his homeland.
"I grew up in New Zealand. My heart, my emotion, my commitment of course is to New Zealand," he told reporters.
When questioned whether his induction into Australian society convinced him to switch sides, Kirk made it clear where his loyalties lie.
"Of course I'm an All Blacks supporter. I'm a massive All Blacks supporter and it's the All Blacks all the way."
Over 300 citizenship ceremonies were held around the country, with Perth hosting the largest group at a record 1,881 people sworn into citizenship. Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans attended the ceremony, saying they were joining "four million others who have done it before you," reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The ceremony was the second-largest citizenship ceremony in Australia's history, and Senator Evans says it is all thanks to the achievements of the Australian immigration system.
"We are a great success story," Senator Evans added.
"You go anywhere in the world and they say no-one has done it better than Australia at settling and promoting the success of its migrants."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.