Yarrawonga’s the place to be ~ New citizens
Yarrawonga has four new citizens after Moira Shire welcomed its newest Australian citizens at a ceremony held in Cobram on Thursday, July 15.
Nestle Buaya and her son Khristian Jairo Buaya, Rowell Miclat and Rona Gorham all now reside in Yarrawonga and are all of the same consensus that the area is the place to be.
Rona Gorham who moved to Australia from the Cook Islands has spent much of her life in Australia with almost a decade of that spent in Yarrawonga.
“I’ve been living in Australia for a long while. I’ve been in and out of the country since I was very young living both in the Cook Islands and here in Australia,” Rona said.
“But I’ve spent most of my upbringing here in Australia. My husband and I have been in Yarrawonga for six years now.
“My parents originally decided we’d move to Australia with their education and jobs that brought us here.”
Rona said she loves the area with regional Australia the place to live.
“I’ve had the beautiful privilege to live in both metropolitan and regional areas across the different states. Regional is my favourite. I love the lifestyle out here,” Rona said.
“I love the lake and the surrounding towns. This area is so beautiful to explore and learn its stories.
“I feel even more connected to this area because my husband and I welcomed our first child, our daughter here last year.
“We’ve celebrated some major milestones here in Yarra including our engagement and hopefully soon buying our first home.”
Rowell “Rowie” Miclat, who was born and lived much of his life in the Philippines had a similar experience to Rona, with work bringing him to Australia.
“I’ve been in Australia since March 2015. I was initially on a student visa through a bridging program called Initial registration for overseas registered Nurses (IRON Program), also known as an entry to practise for internationally qualified nurses (EPIC Program),” Rowie said.
“After getting my registration, I landed a nursing job and got a working visa. “Eventually, I became a permanent resident in 2016 and an Australian citizen recently.
“Yarrawonga is a beautiful town full of kind and amazing people; scenic and inviting lake and peaceful and serene environment.
“It is similar, in comparison, to my hometown province in the Philippines, where I grew up.
“Therefore, I did not have a big adjustment to settle, to integrate and be part of the community, as it feels like home.”
Rowie said his decision to move to Australia was an easy one due to its location and the diversity across the country.
“I chose Australia over other countries because of its multicultural diversity and geographic location,” Rowie said.
“It is an open country for all, does not discriminate and accepts immigrants based on their contributory skills.
“Geographically, it is closer to the Philippines compared to other developed countries, which outsource international nurses.
“I came to Australia in 2015 with nothing but high hopes and good faith for a better and brighter future.
“Looking back at what I have accomplished, I reckon, I made the right choice to stay and live in Australia and set roots here.
“Thank you, Australia, for being my new home away from home.”
Yarrawonga’s third and fourth newest citizens Nestle Buaya and her son Khristian Jairo Buaya have been living in the area for near on a decade with the lake a major drawcard to the area.
“My son and I have been living here in Australia for six years and seven months. Then we have been living in Yarrawonga for three years,” Nestle said.
“Yarrawonga is a nice place to live because we have beautiful Lake Mulwala and people here are friendly.
“My husband came here first in 2008 and became a citizen afterwards then we followed him in 2015.
“Australia gives us comfortable living and great opportunities as a family.”
Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said it was a proud and significant moment for several new citizens who now reside in a number of towns throughout the shire.
“Hailing originally from countries including the Philippines, India, New Zealand and Malaysia, our new citizens have already become integral members of our local towns and are active members of their communities,” Cr Mustica said.
“Through our Australian citizenship we all share a commitment to values including mutual respect, equality, freedom of speech and religion, the rule of law, and democracy.
“Our citizenship means we all belong to the Australian family, and we can all enjoy the responsibilities and privileges of living in this country and having a say in its future.”