Embracing a new home
About five years ago Nick and Natalie Joyner left their home in the United Kingdom for Australia, initially to test the waters. But it didn’t take long for the outdoor lifestyle to capture the couple’s hearts, and for their five children to put down roots.
This made the decision to become citizens easy, especially when their eldest daughter, Beth, married an Australian and will soon graduate as a registered nurse — like her mum.
“We gave up everything to come here, our friends and family… we gave up our home to start a new one,” Nick says, who found his feet — literally — as the coach of son Zac’s soccer team, taking them to the 2019 finals in the Noarlunga Districts Junior Soccer League.
The father and son love “the beautiful game” with its thrills and drills, which should serve Zac well when the school-leaver applies to join the Australian Defence Force.
Daughter Megan also shows agility, not as a competitive soccer player, but as a dancer who plans to make a career in performing arts. Son Ben is close to finishing an engineering degree and daughter Zoe’s love of music might see her pursue a career in music when she leaves school.
Although the family’s talents are vastly different, they share a common love of the outdoors.
“We love it here,” Nick says. “Living at Flagstaff Hill we are close to the coast, reserves, the city and the McLaren Vale wine region.”
“Dad loves a wine,” Zoe teases.
“But it’s more than wine,” Nick counters with a laugh. “It’s cycling the Shiraz Trail and exploring the nature reserves; it’s the cafes and restaurants, and it’s the beaches.
There’s so much to enjoy here.”
In the UK the family lived in coastal Bournemouth, but although the beaches were nearby they weren’t easily accessible. “You’d have to descend hundreds of steep steps plus pay a 20 pound parking fee, which is why I love the beaches here,” Natalie says.
“I also love the sunshine, as so many times we’d make that long trek down to the beach only for it to start raining half way through the day. That’s another reason why we get so many overseas visitors, because they love the summers too.”
The Joyner family took the Australian citizenship pledge in November. “This is an amazing place to live, and we are all very proud to become citizens and officially call Onkaparinga our home,” Natalie says.
The City of Onkaparinga’s next citizenship ceremony is on 26 January at the South Adelaide Football Club.
Mayor Erin Thompson says citizenship is a unique symbol of formally identifying with Australia. “It unites us and shows that our new citizens are committed to upholding Australian values like equal opportunity, mutual respect, tolerance, freedom of speech and religion, democracy, and the Australian law.
“Our rich and diverse heritage stems from the contributions made by all of us and that’s what makes our community so great.
“The City of Onkaparinga’s citizenship ceremonies reflect this and we are honoured to celebrate and welcome each of our new citizens,” Mayor Thompson says.
At the conclusion of November’s citizenship ceremony, where 110 new Australian citizens from 24 countries were welcomed, Beth Riddle (nee Joyner) said: “Since marrying Harrison it’s nice to be part of his country; I still love England but I’m really happy that Australia is my home now.”
Zoe, Natalie, Zac, Megan, Ben and Nick Joyner call Onkaparinga home; Bethany Riddle (nee Joyner) with husband Harrison at November’s citizenship ceremony; Georgina Williams gives a Kaurna welcome.