LOCAL couple Jo and Grant Kelly were amongst 31 people who became Australian citizens at an Australia Day ceremony in Beaudesert.
Mayor Greg Christensen said becoming an Australian citizen does not mean turning your back on your country of origin.
“It does not mean you have to forget the language of the country or its customs or culture.
“Instead we ask you to share these valuable assets so that Australians can become more tolerant and understanding.
“On behalf of the people of Australia, and especially the Scenic Rim, I congratulate all of you on becoming Australian citizens and hope you enjoy a happy and prosperous future.”
Originally from New Zealand, Jo and Grant first moved to Australia when they were 21 years old.
They began the citizenship process four years ago but Jo said she found it very difficult and eventually gave up.
“This time we had to get a lawyer to help us – I couldn’t get past the fourth question – but we are happy we have done it now,” she said.
Jo and Grant will be remembered by local residents as designing the flying fox which helped Illinbah residents get food and other essential items when a bridge under construction washed away during flooding in February 2022.
Jo has also created the Porta-Support cushion which she designed to assist in the comfort of those who have a portacath or wounds directly in the path of a seatbelt.
The cushion elevates the seatbelt off the site and with the options of sliding the cushion where needed on the belt.
The couple have lived on their Illinbah property for 20 years and would not live anywhere else.
“We love the land. We actually go back to New Zealand and get homesick. I just love it here,” said Jo.