Quorrobolong resident David Willard will be one of 40 people inducted as Australian citizens in Cessnock on Australia Day 2020

MAKING IT OFFICIAL: Quorrobolong resident David Willard will become an Australian citizen at Cessnock's Australia Day ceremony on Sunday, 62 years after he emigrated from England.
MAKING IT OFFICIAL: Quorrobolong resident David Willard will become an Australian citizen at Cessnock's Australia Day ceremony on Sunday, 62 years after he emigrated from England.

David Willard has always considered Australia home - after all, he has lived here since he was two years old.

After 62 years, the Quorrobolong resident will finally make it official this Sunday when he will take the citizenship pledge at Cessnock's Australia Day ceremony.

Mr Willard's family moved from England to Australia as "10-bob tourists" during the big British immigration of the 1950s.

They settled in Melbourne, where he grew up, before moving to New South Wales for work in 1995.

The family - Mr Willard, his wife Cheryl and daughters Angela and Jessica - lived at Lake Macquarie before moving to Quorrobolong in 2003.

While moving from Melbourne was a big change - almost like moving from another country again - Mr Willard he loves the fantastic lifestyle they now enjoy.

"We love Melbourne, but the lifestyle up here is just too good," he said.

"The Hunter Valley is one of those sweet spots - the weather, and the people, it's just brilliant."

Mr and Mrs Willard run a fire and rescue equipment business and are also avid travellers, slowly making their way around the world by motorcycle.

Mr Willard had always travelled on a British passport, but following the UK's vote to leave the European Union in 2016, he decided it was time to apply for Australian citizenship.

"I'm not sure the British passport will hold up as well as it did, and the Australian passport has always been quite strong," he said.

His application took about three years to process, and he said it was a "really pleasant surprise" when the notification arrived.

Mr Willard is one of 40 people who will become Australian citizens at Cessnock's Australia Day ceremony on Sunday.

The new citizens come from the United Kingdom, Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines, United States, Nepal, Russia, New Zealand, China, India, Peru and Canada.

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said he's looking forward to conducting the citizenship ceremony.

"It's a very significant decision to choose to leave your home and become a citizen of another nation," Cr Pynsent said.

"As a community we will warmly welcome these citizens. These new Australians will enrich our community, coming from all across the nation bringing skills, new ideas and culture."

The ceremony will be held at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, starting at 10am, and also includes Cessnock City Council's Australia Day awards, and an address and performance by Damien Leith (Cessnock's Australia Day ambassador).

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