From Harare in Zimbabwe straight to Corowa. From 1.6 million people to about 5,500. That was the huge lifestyle change for Corowa residents Jeanette and Kevan Champion four years ago.
And at Federation Council’s latest monthly meeting on February 20, 2018 the pair became Australian citizens when council’s Mayor Pat Bourke conducted an Australian Citizenship Ceremony.
After being recruited via an employment agency, it was first time in Australia for Kevan on his way to work for Corowa Shire Council, now Federation Council, as a mechanic, servicing council’s vehicles, plant and equipment.
“Our daughter lives in Griffith and she asked us if we wanted to emigrate,” Kevan told the Free Press. “I was supposed to go to Bordertown but we decided on Corowa.”
The 61-year-old was a mechanic in his native homeland and has fitted in perfectly at the council works depot on the town’s industrial estate.
“I’m very happy with my job. We love Corowa,” Kevan, a keen motor sports fan, especially car rallies, said. Wife Jeanette, 66, loves fishing, has won many fishing trophies and worked for three years as a sorter and cleaner at the Corowa Post Office.
Workshop manager at the works depot, Mark Baldwin, said it is good to have skilled workers come into Australia. “Kevan is an asset to us,” Mark added.
Corowa resident Fiona Nottle also formally became an Aussie on February 20. For Fiona, it’s second time at Corowa, having lived here back in the 1980s.
She left England in 1964 and has spent time in Queensland and Melbourne. But it’s definitely the birthplace of Australian Federation now for Fiona.