Glen Innes resident Sarka Soma has been feeling a mixture of pride and excitement over having recently becoming an Australian Citizen.
Two weeks ago marked an exciting day for Sarka. After applying for her citizenship a year ago and undergoing the testing process, Sarka has finally become a proud Australian citizen.
Upon first moving to Australia from Czechia in 2014 Sarka lived in Gosford before moving to Glen Innes three years ago and making a wonderful life for herself here.
"I love the community here in Glen Innes, everyone is very friendly and welcoming," she said.
Moving from the Czech Republic to Australia was hard to do as it meant leaving her family behind.
"It was very emotional to say goodbye to my family when I moved to Australia, I left my two children, my two brothers and four grandchildren," she said.
Making the decision to move to Australia was difficult, however Sarka says it was a great choice as she loves all Australia has to offer.
"It is a beautiful country, and I feel very lucky to be able to call myself a citizen here," she said.
Sarka is passionate about improving herself and educating herself on the Australian language. She is currently undergoing studies at TAFE on the English language. After completing the course she aspires to work in health care.
"I would like to improve my language, the course will be finished at the end of the year, and then I will begin a TAFE course in aged care," she said.
Moving to Australia, Sarka was able to live anywhere, and chose to live in Glen Innes as it reminds her of her home. Sarka feels at home here in the small town when compared to the city life.
"It reminds me of my country, and Glen Innes feels like a beautiful place to call home," she said.
"I love the quiet here that you can't get in a big city, Glen Innes is good for me."
Sarka is very excited to be an Australian citizen, however she was disappointed that they could not celebrate in a bigger way.
"It was difficult to have a celebration for becoming a citizen because of the coronavirus," she said.
However they were able to have a small celebration to mark the special occasion with mayor Carol Sparks at town hall at the beginning of the month.
"I feel very happy and fortunate to be able to live here, it was a very emotional moment for me when I became a citizen," she said.
"Australia is a good country, and I can't wait to see what the future will bring for me here in Glen Innes," she said.