When Neko Li came to Australia in 2013, she intended her trip to be a working holiday.
But the Hong Kong native soon fell in love with the people and the lifestyle down under and on Friday, officially became an Australian citizen.
"I have my Aussie family now," she said shortly after taking the citizenship pledge.
"I want to stay here forever - it's such a beautiful country, and I love the fact there is more democracy than where I come from in Hong Kong."
She was one of 22 people from nine countries who took the pledge at Rathmines Theatre during the Lake Macquarie City Council Citizenship Ceremony.
The new Australians had come from New Zealand, China, India, UK, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Tonga, USA and Brazil.
I want to stay here forever - it's such a beautiful country.Neko Li
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said it was always a joy to welcome new citizens to the city.
"It is such a privilege for me to share this special day with our new Aussies," Cr Fraser said.
"Rathmines Theatre was shining again with the bright smiles of our new citizens and it was great to see families and friends joining in the celebration.
"Welcoming people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe to Lake Macquarie enriches our community and makes us who we are today."
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