Aussies all the way, except when it comes to rugby
GYMPIE pastor Dean Comerford and his family moved from New Zealand four years ago.
They didn't have to become citizens to stay in the country, but for Mr Comerford anything less just isn't good enough.
Mr Comerford, his wife Tania and their son Samuel will be counted officially as Aussies from tomorrow.
Mr Comerford said it didn't take him long to realise just how patriotic Australians were, especially come January 26.
He said he also saw overwhelming support from born-and-bred Aussies for nationals who moved here to really call Australia home.
"[If the opinion is that] if you live here you should belong here, then I'll belong," he said.
"It's important that if you're going to live in a place, you need to identify with it."
But as far as the family's friends are concerned, the Comerfords, including daughter Amelia who is not yet eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, are already pretty Aussie.
They passed the "real" test years ago.
Within his first week of arriving in Australia to take up the role of pastor of Gympie Community Church, Mr Comerford was given the Aussie test.
The "baptism of fire" as he describes it included eating a sandwich heavily laden with Vegemite, singing the national anthem and boiling water in a billy can.
"We'd been here six days and were already well into the way of Australian life," Mr Comerford said.
But that's not to say they don't still love the motherland, as Mrs Comerford explained, "When you have a second child, you don't love the first any less".
But when it comes to the rugby, it's still the All Blacks all the way.