Jerilderie’s proud new Australian
‘‘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.