Seven new Australians
BINU Varghese Karuvelil was a proud Australian last week.
Five years after arriving in Boort from India with wife Saritha and daughter Grace, now 10, they became Australian citizens.
Making Boort their home and working at the district health service, Binu, Saritha and Grace were among seven Loddon residents to become citizens.
Loddon Mayor Neal Beattie performed the ceremony in council’s Wedderburn chambers that was for the first time live-streamed.
Viewers of the stream included residents at Boort District Health where two other new citizens also work.
Mohammed Mubarak Meera Sahib, the nurse unit manager, said he was proud to be an Australian and in a country with an amazing history.
He said the spirit of mateship experienced in Boort was similar to that in India.
“People look out for each other and there is good community support. We were lucky to be where we were during COVID restrictions,” he said.
Mary Grace Loosley, of Pyramid Hill, was a primary teacher in the Philippines before coming to Australia five years ago.
She has since trained as a carer and now works at Boort District Health.
Following the presentation of their citizenship certificates by Cr Beattie, and councillors Linda Jungwirth, Wendy Murphy and Dan Straub presented gifts of Australian native plants Also becoming Australian citizens were Mr Russel Ceballos and Mr Amine Rasbey.
Cr Beattie said the ceremony was the largest hosted by Loddon council.