Several years ago Lawrence Petersen was driving a tourist bus in his homeland, the United States, before he hit it off with one of the tourists he was showing around.
He met his future wife, Eve Southwood, on the month-long trip and decided to leave California and make the move to Australia for love.
"I have been here five years from October," he said.
"I met a very nice lady from Australia. She was in the United States.
"She invited me over here, so I visited, I went back to the States and I came back to stay."
The US Air Force veteran was one of the 61 conferees who became an Australian citizen in Launceston yesterday.
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The conferees originated from a number of countries including Sudan, Afghanisation, Ukraine, Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Philippines, Canada, US, New Zealand, China, India, Taiwan, Russia and Belgium.
Mayor Albert van Zetten thanked the conferees for making the decision to officially become Australian citizens.
"These kinds of ceremonies are incredibly important to those people seeking to become Australian citizens. Our new citizens will add to the diversity of our community," he said.
"Although some of the conferees may have called Australia home for many years, it gives me great pleasure to be able to officially welcome all of them as new citizens.
"It is an honour to celebrate their citizenship with them."
Mr Petersen said it was quite a journey to secure his permanent residency before he could think of securing citizenship.
"It was a struggle, I would not have been able to do it probably if my wife hadn't been really good with paperwork," he said.
"As soon as I got my permanent residency here, it started feeling a little more like I belonged and I started giving blood, because I hadn't done that for a while and I thought, you know, I'm here now obviously they're not kicking me out."
The 58-year-old, who is studying his masters in social work at the University of Tasmania, said he was yet to discover a quintessential Australia food delicacy he liked.
"There is probably going to be a culture shock thing when I go back to the States, and somebody tells me I'm saying something weird.
"I say tomatoes [not tomayto] now."
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