New Australian citizen swears allegiance on Macquarie Island
26 January 2005He may have been born in Scotland but Macquarie Island expeditioner Andy Wakefield has decided to call Australia home – officially.
The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Peter McGauran delegated authority to the island's station leader Graeme Beech to perform today's Australian Citizenship conferral ceremony.
Mr Wakefield, 36, came to Australia as a child and has spent most of the past 31 years in Hobart.
He says that after so long Australia is home with a lifestyle second to none and that his time on Macquarie Island has further strengthened his sentiment.
"Macquarie Island is a very special place, it's remote and isolated. Taking my Australian citizenship at Macca is extremely meaningful because of the great Aussie mates I have in the community here."
Andy Wakefield is a geologist who has spent the past 12 months on Macquarie Island undertaking research for the University of Tasmania acquiring data to produce a total magnetic intensity map and has installed and serviced four seismometers around the island to measure seismic activity. Since arriving in March 2004 Andy has walked more than 3000 kilometres over the steep terrain in the harsh weather for which Macquarie Island is renowned. In addition, he also fulfils the important station appointments of Boating Officer and Post Master.
Station leader on Macquarie Island Graeme Beech was delegated the authority to confer Australian citizenship.
"What a great way to celebrate Australia Day with one of our colleagues taking the final step to Australian citizenship," Mr Beech said.
"It was also an opportunity for other expeditioners present to take an active part in the ceremony by affirming our commitment to Australia.
"We joined in the affirmation with great gusto and pride with the Australian flag raised, then sang Advance Australia Fair in the heartiest manner I have ever heard the National Anthem.
"After the official ceremony we celebrated in true Aussie fashion with a barbecue and a game of cricket. The more hearty souls took a dip in the Southern Ocean," Mr Beech said.