Geethu Raju is one of 80 Hills Shire residents who became an Australian citizen during a special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at The Hills Shire Council on Wednesday, January 26.
The cardiac sonographer from the Gables moved to Australia from India in 2015 after securing work. Her husband joined her permanently in 2017.
She initially moved to Hurstville before setting up a home with her husband in the “beautiful” Hills Shire.
Ms Raju said becoming an Australian citizen has been a milestone achievement.
“I now belong to this amazing country where everyone is respected and happy,” she said.
Apart from becoming an official Aussie, Ms Raju added that she is now able to vote in elections, help decide on important democratic decisions, as well as have the opportunity to work in government.
Wednesday’s occasion was equally significant for Logeswary Vinoth who also took her final step in her citizenship journey at Council’s special Citizenship Ceremony. Mrs Vinoth moved to Australia to be with her husband in 2013. They were childhood sweethearts, having first met at school.
Mrs Vinoth, who now works in aged care as an assistant nurse, said moving to Australia from Sri Lanka had been a “dream come true”.
“Every step of our life has progressed very well, and we felt so happy and protected living here [in Australia],” Mrs Vinoth said.
“We call Australia the “country of opportunity” and it’s a proud moment of my life to become a citizen of this great nation,” she added.
New citizens making the pledge originally came from more than 19 countries, including India, Iran, Chile, the Philippines, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi, said attending a citizenship ceremony was one of his favourite things to do on Australia Day.
“Everyone is just so happy, excited and proud to become an Australian citizen. It just reinforces how lucky we are to live in this great country of ours,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“I want to congratulate our new Australian citizens on this incredible achievement.
“We have such a diverse and multicultural community, and I know our new citizens will continue to commit to this region and its people, and contribute a new chapter in The Hills’ story,” Mayor Gangemi added