Maranoa Welcomes Newest Citizens!


It’s a proud moment for anyone when they are welcomed as an Australian citizen and for Joan and Melvyn Bezuidenhout, they just couldn’t wait to call Maranoa home!

The journey began for the couple in 1998 when they travelled from their home in South Africa all the way to Roma.

Joan says that following their son to Roma was the best decision they have ever made and tomorrow they will be able to officially call themselves Aussies.

“We already call Maranoa home, the people are so lovely and colourful and it’s such an amazing feeling to have the whole family together in one beautiful place. We are so excited to be Australian citizens and can’t wait for tomorrow to be here,” Joan explained.

“I was told when I first arrived in Australia that I wasn’t a true Aussie until I had swallowed a fly! I found that pretty funny and will hopefully still be accepted as an Aussie without swallowing a bug!”

The pair said they feel as though they finally belong and always miss Maranoa whenever they are away.

“We actually visited Brisbane for a couple of days and couldn’t wait to get back to Roma,” Joan said.

“When we first moved, we felt as though we had died and gone to heaven and that feeling hasn’t gone. Becoming a citizen is going to be a very proud moment for the both of us.”

Everyone can come and see Joan and Melvyn make it official at the welcoming ceremony, set to kick off at 9am at the Roma Cultural Centre on Bungil Street.