Nelson Bay man James Chigweremba was among more than 30 of Port Stephens residents to affirm their Australian citizenship on Wednesday.
Mr Chigweremba moved to Australia from Zimbabwe in 2007 with his son Tich and daughter Nash.
He worked a string of casual jobs before he took up a permanent position with Port Stephens Council in 2012 as a customer services officer (grounds) and Shoal Bay Holiday Park.
"You want to think the sky is the limit ," Mr Chigweremba said.
"Now I am a citizen I really want to further myself and I have qualifications I think can really take me further."
Mr Chigweremba hold a bachelor of politics and administration with honours as well as two diplomas and has the offer of a position study a masters of business administration.
But it's not only the personal opporunities that brought him to Australia.
"It's like the mayor [Bruce MacKenzie] said, this is the best place to bring up a family," he said.
"But it's also important that this advice is taken in the right context; it's important that our civic leaders help nurture our families when we arrive."
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington and Cr MacKenzie welcomed new 36 new citizens.
They came from 16 countries. These include Germany, France, Vietnam, the UK, Papua New Guinea, Muaritius, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Phillipines and Malta, Pakistan, India and the Republic of Ireland and South Korea.
"I can't remember in all my years, so many people, from so many different countries," Cr MacKenzie said.
"Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family. I've naturalised people for 30... even 40 years and it's an absolute delight."