WE WEL­COME OUR NEW­EST AUS­TRALIAN CIT­I­ZEN

Phas-Bahrd Purj has now be­come a proud Aus­tralian

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Adam McCleery Adam.McCleery@cnbtimes.com.au

AFTER liv­ing in Aus­tralia for eight years as a per­ma­nent res­i­dent Phas-Bahrd Purj thought it was time to make it of­fi­cial and be­come an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen.

Mr Purj achieved that goal in De­cem­ber dur­ing a cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony at the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil Cham­bers in Gayn­dah.

“It is a great feel­ing to fi­nally do it,” Mr Purj said.

“After liv­ing here so many years I felt it was time to make that next step and be­gin the process to be­com­ing a cit­i­zen.”

Mr Purj came to Aus­tralia from his home coun­try of Nepal and al­ways had the in­ten­tion of work­ing to­wards his cit­i­zen­ship.

“I was a stu­dent when I first came over and got to ex­pe­ri­ence Aus­tralia for the first time,” Mr Purj said.

“I was with my ex-wife at the time and I first got my res­i­dency here.”

Once Mr Purj had se­cured his res­i­dency he started to look into what is re­quired to gain cit­i­zen­ship.

“It was not too long of a process ei­ther,” Mr Purj said.

“Maybe only a year all up, but that was be­cause I’ve lived here more than four years so right after I got my res­i­dency I started the process for cit­i­zen­ship.”

Mr Purj in­stantly fell in love with Aus­tralia and the life­style and now that he can call him­self an Aus­tralian he is a happy man.

“I am very proud to be an Aus­tralian Cit­i­zen now yes,” Mr Purj said.

“I al­ways wanted to stay here and get­ting my cit­i­zen­ship has made things more sta­ble in my life.

“Aus­tralia is also a safe place with good peo­ple, good weather and the money is good here too.”

Mr Purj’s part­ner Man­jur Purj said she was also very proud to see Mr Purj fi­nally ob­tain his cit­i­zen­ship.

Mr Purj re­ceived his of­fi­cial cit­i­zen­ship cer­tifi­cate in a cer­e­mony con­ducted by the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil.

“They gave me this beau­ti­ful pen and I have the cer­tifi­cate now too,” Mr Purj said.

“It was a great feel­ing, there were four of us get­ting our cit­i­zen­ship on the day and it was a proud mo­ment for all I think.”

North Bur­nett Re­gional Mayor Rachel Cham­bers took joy in be­ing part of a spe­cial day for Mr Purj.

“Per­form­ing cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies is amongst my favourite things I do in this po­si­tion,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“It is such an hon­our to make some­one a cit­i­zen, to fi­nalise the jour­ney they have been on, to for­malise their le­gal sta­tus as an Aus­tralian.”

Be­ing an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen is some­thing many peo­ple take for granted and as a re­sult some­times lose sight of the ad­van­tages.

“Those of us who were born here take our cit­i­zen­ship and its as­so­ci­ated priv­i­leges for granted,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“But for peo­ple who were born else­where the de­ci­sion to be­come a cit­i­zen is usu­ally a much con­tem­plated, se­ri­ous de­ci­sion to for­malise and strengthen their bond with their newly adopted coun­try.”

Mr Purj said he would have a bar­be­cue to cel­e­brate his new sta­tus as an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen and looked for­ward to em­brac­ing his new home.

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

CIT­I­ZEN: Phas-bahrd Purj with his part­ner Manju Purj is now a proud Aus­tralian cit­i­zen.

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