Proud to be an Aussie
AS AUSSIES across the nation don their patriotic outfits and get set for a day of festivities, Nimal Liyanage will be pledging his allegiance as he becomes an Australian citizen.
Mr Liyanage will take to the stage at the Warwick Town Hall today and said he could not be prouder.
"I am very excited and proud to become Australian," he said.
Hailing from Sri Lanka, Mr Liyanage moved to the land down under in 2007.
About a year later, his wife Erosha De Silva joined him and they began their new life here.
"I lived in Brisbane for two months and then got a job here in Warwick so moved here," Mr Liyanage said.
Working as an engineer for Main Roads, he said work in Australia was much more appealing than in his home country.
"It's very easy to do work here and the infrastructure in very developed," he said.
But a life in Australia wasn't always on the cards for Mr Liyanage.
"Initially I thought I would go back to my country, but after several years I have decided to stay," he said.
"It's very peaceful and it's a beautiful country and the people are very friendly.
"I worked in the Middle East, but here living conditions are much better, even though financially it is quite similar," Mr Liyanage.
It was a change in lifestyle that kept him and his wife in Australia, and Mr Liyanage decided that today was the perfect day to commit his citizenship to the sunburnt country.
"We had a busier life in Sri Lanka. We had to work a lot more, but here is very organised - we do whatever we want and we have free time," he said.
"(Today is about) changing my identity from one country to another."
Mr Liyanage said he and his family were here for the long haul.