More than 170 local residents will celebrate an important milestone in their lives at the Australia Day citizenship ceremony on Sunday 26 January at Aussie World Theme Park from 9.30am.
One of the recipients, Rupa Pokhrel originally from Nepal and now residing in the beautiful surrounds of Maroochydore, is eagerly looking forward to the ceremony as an official welcome to her adopted country.
Rupa said when she arrived in Australia at the age of 19 she never thought she would live so far away from her mother who was on the other side of the world.
“I was lucky though as my dad had organised a homestay for a month with an amazing Australian family who were a very encouraging couple,” Rupa said.
“My new family instantly became my Australian mother and father and I immediately fell in love with my host mother for her honesty, kindness, discipline and passion to help other people.
“Her encouragement kept me motivated to do well in my studies despite being so far away from my mum and dad. When I started my first placement as a nursing student, it touched my heart to see elderly people in their late 90’s in a hospital environment.
“I decided to continue my nursing career as a registered nurse and worked at the Prince Charles Hospital. I moved to the Sunshine Coast to serve in a rural part of Queensland and am currently working at the Buderim Private Hospital with amazing people.
“I have also met the man of my dreams in Australia who happens to be from Nepal.
“I love living in Australia as it is a peaceful country where citizens have respect for each other and believe in unity despite being from different backgrounds. “
Rupa’s family in Nepal will be able to watch her taking the oath thanks to a live “web stream” of the event. Following last year’s successful live web stream, family members and friends are able to share this special day from anywhere in the world via Sunshine Coast Council’s website.
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held every month at various locations across the region. Visit council’s website for further information on Australian Citizenship Ceremonies and to access the link to the live streaming.