We would like to extend our congratulations to Year 12 student, Bill Cai as he received his citizenship today from the Mayor of Monash City Council, Cr. Paul Klisaris.
We asked Bill to share his story:
"I arrived in Australia on 3rd of July 2009, just after my 12th birthday. I saw Australia as a new opportunity where I could start anew with everything, find my true self and discover my full potential in a more open and flexible education system. In order to do so, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by speaking English, reading newspapers, watching English TV etc. as much as possible. I also spent a significant amount of time learning about the Australian culture, such as learning to play footy and cricket from my friendly Australian neighbour, in order to become an informed and cultivated member of the community.
Over time, my English improved drastically and so did my confidence in my academic abilities. As I gradually become accustomed to living in the Australian community, I continued to look for opportunities to discover my full potential, such as leadership, debating and public speaking. In Year 8, I was elected as Newlands Captain, an honourable position which further extended my interest and appreciation towards the Australian democratic values.
Today as I officially become an Australian citizen, I do so with pride and honour, because Australia, typified most prominently by the Haileybury community where I spend most of my time over my 5-year journey since 2009, is a place that truly changed my life. I look forward to becoming a more active member of the society, and use my talents and passion Australia enabled me to discover, to make a greater contribution to the country and the world. This doesn't mean however, I am renouncing my Chinese roots. As the Asian century approaches, I look forward to utilise my own unique and diverse cultural background to foster mutual understanding and friendship between Australia and China, where I hope I can benefit both my motherland, and the land that shapes my character in the present and future. Beyond goals and ambitions however, I believe I will find myself living a happy and satisfying life, which ultimately is the most important thing.
Full credits must go to my parents for working so hard to support me in this difficult time. I deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have to make in order to provide with this fortunate life."