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Cosmopolitan Bourke a home for new Aussies

Paul and Miranda Katsikis. PHOTO TWH

Despite its isolation, Bourke is a town that welcomes people from all over the world.

This remote little town on the banks of the Darling River has a surprising mix of nationalities, and last month welcomed three new Australian citizens, each with a unique story about how they came to live in the outback, far from their homelands.

Our new citizens were officially welcomed on Australia Day, but they had already contributed to the community in many ways.

One of those who became an Australian citizen was Miranda Katsikis.

Miranda is now proud to call herself an Australian. She is learning English and was happy to share her story through her husband Paul, manager at the Bourke branch of the Commonwealth Bank.

For Miranda, the opportunity to start a new life in Australia despite the distance and unknown, was worth the risk.

“I was born and raised in the tourist city of Pogradec in Albania, with a population of over 70,000 people,” Miranda said.

“My childhood years were beautiful years. I received a lot of love and care from my wonderful parents and that is probably why I like to give love and care to the people around me.

“Leaving my homeland for Australia was a challenge and a big change in my life.

“I had not considered how far I was going and that it was so remote, coming to live in Bourke.

“I listened to my heart, to be with the man of my heart, with my husband. Thank goodness my heart did not lie.

“Only here in Australia did all my dreams come true. Within a short time, Australia accepted me by granting me Australian citizenship.

“The people at the Bourke and District Children’s Services are my second family. I spend a good part of my time there with the wonderful children, their families, and my colleagues. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the bright eyes of the children who are just learning to speak and call me by my name.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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