FORTY-FOUR years after moving to reside in Australia, Dawn Mallabone has officially become a citizen of her adopted country.
Mrs Mallabone was bestowed Australian Citizenship by the mayor, Cr Brian Gibson, with her partner and daughters watching on.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP attended the ceremony at Kerang.
Mrs Mallabone immigrated with her family from Warwickshire in England. Her partner, Adam Mallabone, is from Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula.
"We went to Adelaide... I met my partner Adam there."
"I work in resort management, in and out, and I've been privileged to work in most States."
Mrs Mallabone said the the diversity of the climates encouraged her to stay, but she wasn't ready to permanently settle in Australia as a citizen.
"The tropics and the culture and the different climates was amazing ... but my family immigrated when I turned 18, so I had to make the decision to take on Australian ... I said I'm not ready for that, I was going back to the UK for holidays.
"Then life happened, I had children and as life goes on I realised what life does for you.
"I decided to do it because I have the privilege to do so."
Mrs Mallabone said she is grateful for being in Kerang because of its lush waterways and natural wildlife.
Cr Gibson said Mrs Mallabone's citizenship ceremony was demonstrable of values of community and welcoming.