Nine years after emigrating, the Meddle family is officially Australian

Andrew, Karen and Charlotte Meddle are among the 12 newest Australians to have made their citizenship pledges in Murray Bridge.

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I am, you are, we are Australian – and now another 12 Murray Bridge residents are, too.

People from Kuwait, the Philippines, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam made their pledges of citizenship in the city’s council chamber on Monday night.

Many had already been living in the community for years, but for one new citizen, the setting was particularly comfortable.

English-born Andrew Meddle sat in the same spot he previously occupied during council meetings, when he was one of its senior managers.

Aside from a recent stint in Mount Gambier, he, his wife Karen and their daughter Charlotte had been based in the Murraylands since October of 2012, when they arrived as state-sponsored skilled migrants.

They had previously lived in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex.

Charlotte’s coming 16th birthday prompted the family to make the move official.

“The whole reason for our coming to Australia was to give her more opportunities,” Mr Meddle said.

“This is another step on that path.”

Brenton Lewis, Anabelle Pagayunan, Sophia Distura, Nicole, Raymond and Stephen Ray Lazaro and Adrian Pederick congratulate Mark Lazaro, centre, on his newfound citizenship. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Mayor Brenton Lewis congratulated all the new citizens on their decision.

“It’s a really wholesome feeling, as the mayor of the city, to see new people join our community,” he said.

“You are all contributing in a very strong and healthy way to the growth of Murray Bridge.

“I hope that you participate in any way possible within (our) wonderful community.”