Wednesday marked Durga Rimal’s 30th birthday, but his first as a citizen.
Mr Rimal, his wife and two daughters gained Australian citizenship on Monday.
“People can’t imagine how happy we are – I became the citizen of a nation for the first time in my life,” he said.
“I was born in Bhutan and came back to Nepal as a refugee at four years old.
“We had days without food – the life was full of suffering.”
Since arriving in Lavington in 2011, he has published two books featuring Nepalese poems, started work at Aspire and developed a community radio program.
Every Wednesday night, Mr Rimal reads the news in Nepalese on 107.3 FM.
This week was no exception, despite the occasion.
“People are encouraging me to continue so that children will not forget our language,” he said.