Sacrifices worth it for proud citizens
BY JOHN MCLAURIN
BEING received as Australian citizens rates among the proudest moments in the life of Queanbeyan parishioners Herbert Joey, Roweliza and Danielle Quinones.
The family received the honour at the town’s Australia Day ceremony with about 50 people officially welcomed on the day by the new Queanbeyan-Palerang Council.
Originally from the city of Kabacan in the southern Philippines, the Quinones immediately fell in love with Australia on their first visit.
Mr Quinones first came out in 2009 to study accounting in Sydney.
In 2012, he moved to Queanbeyan for employment and was joined that year by his wife and daughter who came on holiday.
They liked it so much that they decided to stay.
Mrs Quinones said it was an emotional moment for the family when they were told that they were going to be made Australian citizens.
“Right from the start in 2009 it was Herbert Joey’s goal to bring us all here. We are so happy that it has actually happened and we are so lucky to be in this country and feel very proud to call ourselves Australians,” she said.
“We definitely did it tough in the early years with Herbert Joey being in Australia and Danielle and myself being in the Philippines.
“At the time I was practicing medicine over there and it was difficult for us being apart.
“When we arrived here we didn’t know anyone, but over the past four years we have made some wonderful friends and are so happy.
“We had to make some sacrifices, but it has all been worth it.”
The Quinones are most content calling Queanbeyan home and have fitted into everyday life knowing that modern technology keeps them in touch with extended family back in the Philippines.
They appreciate the laid-back lifestyle in Australia enjoying the strong café culture as well as plenty of barbecues.
Danielle is enjoying life as a year-four student at St Gregory’s Primary School.
Having already visited the Gold Coast, Melbourne and the South Coast of NSW, the Quinones are looking forward to exploring other parts of Australia.