Welcome aboard the good ship Australia

July 14, 2017

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE: Seven people living in Campaspe Shire became Australian citizens last week. They are (pictured back from left) Colin Heywood, Raveesha Sampaya Mesthrige, Chong Kim, Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston Adrian Weston

BECOMING an Australian citizen was always part of Raveesha Sampaya Mesthrige’s plan.

He had no idea, however, that it would be one of the biggest achievements in his life.

But that’s exactly what happened when he received his citizenship last week.

‘‘It was one of my biggest achievements,’’ he said.

‘‘It was amazing.’’

Raveesha, 24, is from Sri Lanka and moved to Australia when he was only 17. But he still doesn’t describe that move as scary. Challenging, maybe, but not scary.

‘‘I moved to Australia mainly because of education,’’ he said.

‘‘Plus I wanted to live here as well.

‘‘I was always excited to move to Australia but it was really challenging coming here with all my family back home. I wouldn’t call it scary but challenging.

‘‘I was 17 and didn’t know anyone.

‘‘And then I very much got things done.’’

He’s right.

In no particular order, Raveesha started studying engineering, got a job at Byford Equipment in Moama, bought a block of land, became an Australian citizen and now plans to go back to university and eventually start his own business.

‘‘Before 30-years-old I will start my own business (to do with engineering) in Australia (most likely Melbourne) — that’s my plan,’’ he said.

Raveesha said the currency was ‘‘totally different’’ and hard to adapt to between Sri Lanka and Australia but the highlight while living here had been the opportunities.

‘‘I have achieved so many things that I wouldn’t have achieved back in my country,’’ he said.

Such as working at Byford Equipment, where he has worked for three years, and loves it.

‘‘I want to thank my current workplace,’’ Raveesha said.

‘‘They actually sponsored me for my residence. They treat me really nice and I would like to thank everyone in my workplace.’’

Now Raveesha has become an Australian citizen he plans to keep ticking things off the list.

And the next is to get his bachelor in engineering at Monash which just so happens to be his ‘‘childhood dream’’.

‘‘I will have completed it by the age of 28, if I don’t fail any subjects, I should have it,’’ he laughed.

‘‘It will be really challenging because I haven’t studied for three years so I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’ve got to do it.’’

Others who received their citizenship last week include Colin Heywood and Dirk Van de Zand from Echuca, Chong Kim from Rochester, Vito Maggio from Wyuna, and Ernald Parugrug and Kusol Weaver from Rushworth.

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