Australia Day means a great deal to many Australians, but this year, it’s going to mean something extra special to one St Marys family.
Like many families across Australia on Tuesday, Harpeet Kaur, her partner Harinder Singh and their four-year-old daughter Aafreen are going to become Australian citizens.
For Ms Kaur, this momentous ceremony is going to bring she and her family closer to the country that they fell in love with since moving from Punjab, India, seven years ago.
“We love it here,” she said.
“When we came here we saw many other things that made us want to stay here, from the personal to the home, that if we do very hard work we can get it.”
Ms Kaur came to Australia on a student visa while she was studying, and graduated with a Masters of Information Technology.
“There is better education here than in India. The main reason we want to stay is for our daughter, so she can further her studies in the future,” she said.
After completing their citizenship exams, the ceremony is the last piece of the puzzle for the family to finally feel at home in Australia.
“It’s so exciting, but we feel we are just living around here like everyone else,” she said.
“We don’t feel like we are Indian because we are just used to the culture here, we are very happy here.”
Ms Kaur’s daughter, Aafreen, was born in Australia, but as her parents weren’t permanent residents at the time, also has to get an Australian citizenship.
“My daughter doesn’t know she is from India, she doesn’t know much about Indian culture, she just think she’s Australian,” Ms Kaur said.
“Our parents speak Punjabi and we try to teach our daughter Punjabi so she can speak with them, but she doesn’t like it. It’s very hard for her.”
At this stage, Ms Kaur and her family intend on living in western Sydney their whole lives.
“We feel it’s a bit quieter here than the other parts of the city, and we love to live here,” she said.
Expecting their second child in the near future, the family will have a new baby boy or girl that is an Australian citizen from the day it is born.