Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bernadette warmly welcomed in Lockington

Lockington resident Bernadette Anonaevo will officially become an Australian citizen today.

ELAINE COONEY December 10, 2013 4:11am

New Australian citizen Bernadette Anonaevo with her children Kelly and Angus.

Lockington is the perfect fit for new Australian citizen Bernadette Anonaevo.

Since moving to town in June, she made many new friends, both Filipino and Australians.

‘‘It’s a very welcoming small community and the people are very, very warm,’’ she said.

When she relocated from the Philippines to Australia five years ago she felt homesick, but as the days went on she became used to her new country.

Bernadette missed Filipino food but now stocks up on supplies from the local Asian stores and creates delicious home cooked meals.

Before moving to Australia, she received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture where she majored in Animal Science.

She met her husband Aaron at university who helped her dream of living in Australia come true.

Bernadette always wanted to live in Australia and when Aaron had the option to work in Canada or Australia, they both knew where they wanted to go.

She will officially become an Australian citizen today.

‘‘It means a lot to me,’’ she said.

‘‘Although I love my country, being an Australian citizen is a big step,’’ she said.

Before Bernadette sat her citizenship test, she was almost sent away.

The immigration officials did not want her to take the exam with her son Angus in case he woke up and disturbed others.

Taking into consideration she travelled so far, she was given a private room to sit the test and learned she scored 100 per cent.

She thought the questions were easy but was delighted with the flawless result.

Bernadette’s journey to Australia was through her husband Aaron making the move first.

Aaron began working on a pig farm near Bacchus Marsh in 2007 while Bernadette, who was pregnant with her daughter Kelly, remained in the Philippines.

Bernadette said it was difficult being separated but knew Aaron was doing the right thing for the family.

She said there was an enormous difference between earning Philippine pesos and Australian dollars.

Bernadette and Kelly moved to Australia to join Aaron in 2008 and lived near Geelong for three years, then to Western Australia before settling in Lockington.

Aaron now works on a pig farm near Lockington while Bernadette takes care of her two children.

Next year she plans to make a career change from animal science to hospitality.

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