CELEBRATING: Gail Spottiswood.
CELEBRATING: Gail Spottiswood. Troy Jegers

Doctor, aged carer among Gympie's newest citizens

Aged carer ready for new era

AT Gympie's 2019 Australian Citizenship Ceremony you would be hard-pressed to find applicants with more qualifications than Gail Spottiswood.

Not only does the she have a Certificate III in Aged Care, she also has a Certificate III in Hairdressing, a Diploma in Beauty, and a Diploma in Massage Therapy.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Mrs Spottiswood and her husband first came to Australia in 2007 when they followed a close friend who had previously moved here, and fell in love with the country.

They previously lived in Mooloolaba before moving to Gympie last July.

Mrs Spottiswood said she loves everything about being in Australia, especially the weather, the diverse people she gets to meet, and her job working in aged care.

The Spottiswoods are very excited about becoming Australian citizens and are looking forward to celebrating the public holiday at the beach.

Citizenship lets Ivy put down roots

Mrs Ivy Pernia
Ivy Pernia. Troy Jegers

IVY Pernia has lived in Australia since 2011 and today the former Philippines resident is one of 10 people making this country her new home at today's Australian Citizenship Ceremony.

Now married, she and her husband are newcomers to Gympie, having moved here recently.

They are very happy with their new life in the town.

Mrs Pernia has adapted well to the Australian way of life and enjoys living out in the country, although she would love to see the Great Barrier Reef.

"It's very peaceful and quiet, a lovely place,” she said.

One of the things she loves most about living in Australia is the diverse scenery and views.

When asked about how she felt becoming an official Australian citizen today, Mrs Pernia said she was very excited and just a little nervous about the ceremony and what it would mean for her afterwards.

Ceremony nerves no barrier for GP

Dr. Rebecca Freshney
Dr Rebecca Freshney. Troy Jegers

ONE of Gympie's practising GPs is also going to be one of its newest citizens today.

Dr Rebecca Freshney from Glasgow, Scotland, has been living in Australia since August 2012 when she came here with her best friend.

Dr Freshney initially came to Australia to feed the sense of adventure she had that made her want to explore.

Now, she stays because she feels like she belongs in Australia.

She loves meeting new people and working with her colleagues at the medical centre, and she loves the many great places to visit near Gympie.

She is a licenced GP and has obtained a MBChB and a FRACGP from Glasgow and now works at the Excelsior Medical Centre.

The Australian Citizenship Ceremony today brings a mix of feelings for Dr Freshney.

She is extremely excited to become an official Australian citizen, but a smaller part is nervous about having to get up on the stage and stand up in front of everyone.