How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain – Part 12.


The 26th January 1993 was a real scorcher in Sydney. It was a public holiday called Australia Day and at North Sydney Town Hall, the Mayor was wearing his full ceremonial robe, chain of office and shorts. He was hosting an Australian Citizenship Ceremony. Julie and I swore an oath with about fifty other people and became Australians. Then the Mayor made a short welcoming speech and advised us that there were cold cans of Fosters on a table at the back.

We wanted to become Australians before I started the broadcasting course at The Australian Film Television and Radio School. I’d always felt like we’d got into Australia through the back door. I’d become a New Zealand citizen when I lived there and Julie was a Kiwi by birth. We were taking advantage of a reciprocal agreement Australia and New Zealand have than means if you have a passport for one of the two countries you can legally live and work in either.

It was about a week before I started at AFTRS and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was Australia Day and the Mayor of North Sydney really looked the part. It was all pretty simple too, there was no citizenship test. Or is that what the cold cans of Fosters were all about?


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