OFFICIALLY AN AUSSIE: Warrego MP Ann Leahy and mayor Paul McVeigh flank new citizen Asif Hasan.
OFFICIALLY AN AUSSIE: Warrego MP Ann Leahy and mayor Paul McVeigh flank new citizen Asif Hasan. Sam Flanagan

Asif's dream becomes a reality

DELICIOUS and Delightful holds a significant place on the Dalby social calendar but, for select residents, the festival was extra special this year.

Fifteen people from the Western Downs took a pledge to become Australian citizens on the main stage as family and friends watched on proudly.

One of the people to take the pledge was Asif Hasan, who lives in Miles with his wife.

The 28-year-old from Bangladesh has been in Australia for eight years, and has been dreaming of the day he could call himself an Australian.

"I'm over the moon at the moment, I'm really happy,” Mr Hasan told the Dalby Herald after receiving his citizenship certificate.

"It's great to be here, you can achieve things here that you can't achieve somewhere else.

"Some people would say 'I want to be a doctor or a pilot', I'd say 'I want to be an Australian citizen'.

"Words can't describe it (becoming a citizen), it's like you achieved something.”

Mr Hasan is now intent on making the most of the fresh start he has been given and give back to a region which has already given him so much.

"The main reason I want to be here is because of the people, they're friendly,” he said.

"I've got some great mates that will do anything to help you out.

"My plan is to start a business out here: If you create a business you create more jobs for the local community.

"If you want to be Australian, you've got to know why you want to be Australian. You've got to be a part of the society.”

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton was invited by Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh to attend the citizenship ceremony but was unable to attend.

Cr McVeigh read out a message of congratulations from the Mr Dutton.


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