Newcastle Jets forward Roy O’Donovan first moved to Australia back in 2015, but it is in 2021 that he and his family will permanently call Australia home.
That’s because Roy, who was born in Ireland, along with his wife Ellen and son Alfie, is set to become an Australian citizen at one of City of Newcastle’s (CoN) online citizenship ceremonies tomorrow.
“I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to play in Australia or America because I fancied the change from living in England,” Roy said.
He added that it was his move to Newcastle in 2017 that cemented the idea of becoming permanent Aussies.
“We came to Newcastle and really felt like we had found a home here. I’d travelled elsewhere for football but never for more than two or three years at a time. You can’t beat the lifestyle here, especially for raising a family, with so many beautiful parks and beaches at your doorstep.
“We’re extremely honoured and proud to become Australian citizens and be part of Newcastle’s future.”
The O’Donovans will share their special day with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who is presiding over their citizenship ceremony via Zoom, before tucking into a backyard barbecue, sending their love to family and friends in hard lockdown in Ireland and enjoying some family time before Alfie starts kindergarten later this week.
Cr Nelmes said the traditional Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony, previously one of the largest in the state, had to be adapted in 2021 due to COVID-19.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we have had to do things a little differently to keep the community safe, it’s a historic moment as Lord Mayor to welcome City of Newcastle’s newest citizens in a more intimate, one-on-one setting, joining them virtually in their lounge rooms and kitchens,” she said.