Jer­ilderie’s proud new Aus­tralian

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘I could feel the fam­ily spirit of the cer­e­mony.’’

That’s how Sholby Baby de­scribed the proud mo­ment he be­came an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen last week.

The Jer­ilderie nurse shared the mo­ment with his wife and two chil­dren, along with 12 Mur­rumbidgee coun­cil­lors and staff at the coun­cil’s monthly gen­eral meet­ing.

Mr Baby’s jour­ney started in 2008 when he em­i­grated from In­dia. He quickly gained diplo­mas in com­puter science and child care to go with the di­ploma in nurs­ing he earned in In­dia.

‘‘Once I fin­ished my diplo­mas I was spon­sored by the hos­pi­tal in Urana,’’ he said.

‘‘That was my first year of nurs­ing in Aus­tralia and it was an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘The sec­ond year there was a big flood in Urana, so that was rather unique and hec­tic to be there when that hap­pened.

‘‘I worked at Urana for about four years be­fore mov­ing to Jer­ilderie, and we’ve been here for about three years.

‘‘My wife Gisa and I both worked in Urana and she got a job in Jer­ilderie so I moved here with her,’’ Mr Baby said.

Com­ing from a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion, Mr Baby de­scribed mov­ing to small towns like Urana and Jer­ilderie as feel­ing a bit strange.

How­ever, he said he’s en­joy­ing fit­ting into small com­mu­nity life.

‘‘When I was do­ing my diplo­mas I was liv­ing in Bris­bane and never re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced that Aussie shar­ing com­mu­nity life be­fore I moved to Urana and Jer­ilderie.

‘‘My neigh­bours and the towns­peo­ple are re­ally friendly. When you ask for help they will help you out, they come for­ward to of­fer some­thing.

‘‘They once told me not to worry about do­ing the gar­den­ing when I was go­ing back to visit fam­ily in In­dia, be­cause they will do it for me.’’

It wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion for Mr Baby to be­come an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen after he com­pleted his stud­ies. He said it took him a while to think about it.

How­ever, as a mul­ti­cul­tural coun­try with a large In­dian born pop­u­la­tion, he de­cided the Aus­tralian lifestyle suited him.

‘‘I could feel the dif­fer­ence be­tween Aus­tralia and In­dia, and be­fore com­ing here I had heard good things about Aus­tralia.

‘‘Peo­ple back in In­dia re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that I’m qual­i­fied in Aus­tralia and that I went to the ef­fort to do my stud­ies here.

‘‘After I com­pleted my stud­ies I de­cided not to go back be­cause I re­ally like this coun­try.

‘‘I still miss my life in In­dia and my par­ents, but I could bring them to Aus­tralia.’’

Although a proud fan of In­dian cricket, Mr Baby said he’ll be sup­port­ing the Aus­tralian side from now on.

New Aus­tralian cit­i­zen Sholby Baby with Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil Mayor Ruth McRae at last week’s cer­e­mony.

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