Ramu Subedi, 91, doesn’t have just the distinction of being the oldest member of the Border’s Bhutanese community — he’s also the city’s oldest “new” Australian.
Mr Subedi was out in his wheelchair early yesterday to become an Australian citizen, as did his wife, Tulasa Subedi, 72, and their son Buddha, 24.
The Subedis arrived in Australia five years ago and, in the words of Buddha, becoming Australian on Australia Day made them “too much happy”.
“We like the people here. All the Aussies are very good — they have helped us,” Buddha said, a huge grin lighting up his face.
“We want to know all about Australian culture — we are very lucky to be here.”
The Subedis were among 27 people who became Australian citizens yesterday in a ceremony at Noreuil Park.
Mayor, Kevin Mack, congratulated them as he presented their certificates and spoke of their “freedom to express your culture and heritage, and share it with us”.
For Laura Piazza, becoming a citizen complements the life she and her children have been living since arriving in Australia seven years ago.
Mrs Piazza came to Albury from Texas, US, for a job as a lecturer at Charles Sturt University, with her children, Wendell, 11, and Foster, 18.
It quickly became home, particularly after she met her now-husband, Anthony Piazza.
The pair have since had a son together, four-year-old Van.
“It seemed like the next step for us,” she said.
“It just confirms what we’ve been doing all along.
“We’ve been active members of the community and it’s been a really good place for the kids.”