- Thursday 03 July 2014
One hundred and eighty local residents will celebrate an important milestone in their lives at Sunshine Coast Council’s citizenship ceremony which coincides with NAIDOC Week at The Events Centre, Caloundra on Friday, July 11 at 1.30pm.
Professional chef Ruairi Gallagher, formerly from Derry in the North West of Ireland and now residing in Maroochydore, is looking forward to becoming an Australian citizen on July 11.
“I have to admit the troubles of my hometown Derry have helped shape me and my desire to better myself,” Mr Gallagher said.
“I've been a chef since I was 16 and feel very fortunate as I have worked in renowned restaurants and hotels all over Ireland and indeed the world.
“At the age of 20 I lived in California for three months and this is when the travel bug well and truly took hold of me.
“And it was on a chance holiday to Cancun Mexico that I decided the time was right to realise my dream down under.”
Ruairi, now 28, arrived in Sydney as a 23-year-old with his trade qualifications and his best friend.
“Having an Irish accent seems to make people happy even if they do think you are speaking another language,” he said.
“It wasn't until June 2010 when I arrived in the Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland in picturesque Cape Tribulation that my dream started to become a reality.
“I called Cape Tribulation home for three and a half years and worked at the renowned Whet Restaurant and was offered permanent residency.
“Since living in Australia I have achieved two personal goals including obtaining my driving license which was huge as I had never driven a car in Ireland. I also successfully became a qualified Trainer and Assessor in Hospitality.
“I relocated from Port Douglas in Far North Queensland to the Sunshine Coast in March after being offered a position at the Terrace Seafood Restaurant Maleny where I work as a Sous Chef.
“I'm finally realising my dream of cooking with the wonderful array of ingredients Australia has to offer and look forward to fulfilling my desire to one day teach future young chefs at TAFE.
“My goal of becoming an Australian is finally going to be realised on July 11.”
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held bi-monthly in locations across the region. Visit council’s website for further information on Australian Citizenship Ceremonies.
NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.