Moyne Shire has welcomed 13 new Australians from five different countries at its mid-year citizenship ceremony in Mortlake on Tuesday.
The new citizens came from across the world - Thailand, the Philippines, Germany, Belgium and The United Kingdom - but had all discovered a shared love of south-west Victoria.
For some of the inductees a different kind of love had brought them to Australia in the first place.
Didier Fobé met his partner Anna in 2010 while working as the medical support worker on an epic four-month cycling tour down the Andes mountain range in South America. He said you learned a lot about a person in such conditions.
"You can't hide your weak spots in that kind of situation," he said.
Mr Fobé was based in Africa at the time, working as a medical liaison for the International Criminal Court, and while he and Anna went their separate ways, they reunited in South America in 2012.
"It was then we decided on making a joint future," Mr Fobé said.
The choice for that future was either Africa or Australia, and Mr Fobé said it wasn't a difficult decision.
"The hardest thing for me was that they didn't recognise my qualifications," he said.
Mr Fobé had worked for more than 15 years as an intensive care nurse, but would have had to re-qualify to work in Australian hospitals. Instead he has worked as a farm hand and pathology collector.
Maricris Clarke also came to Australia for love, arriving from the Philippines in 2016 after a close teaching colleague who had settled in south-west Victoria set Ms Clarke up with an acquaintance.
Ms Clarke said the citizenship application process had taken 10 months and she had studied hard for the all-important test.
"I was a bit worried because on this year's test there were five extra questions on Australian values, and if you got any of the five wrong you automatically failed," she said.
An applicant only needs 15 out of 20 on the main section of the test, but Ms Clarke need not have worried: she recorded a perfect score.
"I was very excited. I asked if I could take a photo of the test," she said.
Unlike Mr Fobé, Ms Clarke had no issues getting her Philippines teaching qualifications recognised. "All I had to do was pass an English exam," she said.
Mark Hawkins arrived in Australia with his wife and three children way back in 2010, seeking to escape the UK.
"Where we were in Reading wasn't a place we wanted the kids to grow up," he said.
They intended to stay in Port Fairy while deciding where to put down their roots, but never left. Mr Hawkins said after growing up in small-town England he never imagined he would end up loving the small-town life, but thought they may have been lucky not to end up in the big smoke.
"I think if we had moved to Melbourne back in 2010 we might not have ended up staying in Australia," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.