The Kotakadeniya family were part of a group of 47 people who officially became Australian citizens this week.
The event, hosted by Bundaberg Regional Council, was held at the Bundaberg Multiplex with nationalities from Egypt, South Africa, Britain and the Philippines in attendance.
Rasika Kotakadeniya and his family were part of the celebrations, moving from Sri Lanka to Bundaberg in 2018.
The general surgeon said yesterday's ceremony was an emotional one.
“It was very special,” he said.
“We had been looking forward to that day for a long time.”
Rasika said his journey to becoming an official Australian citizen started in 2008 when he arrived in the country for the first time and fell in love with the lifestyle and opportunities available.
“I was here for three years before going back to Sri Lanka, and then I gained my permanent residency in 2012,” he said.
“The original plan was to send my eldest daughter to Australia to complete her higher education, then we thought it would be much nicer if we as a whole family made the move.”
The Kotakadeniya's made the Bundaberg Region home in 2018, with the children excelling in their studies at St. Luke's and going on to pursue their dream careers in the dentistry and medical fields.
He said the Bundaberg Region was an ideal place for family.
“It is a very nice area to live in,” Rasika said.
“I love the weather- I am from a very warm country and Bundaberg weather is not too cold.
“I also love the fact that it is not very busy, there is a very nice balance between city and regional.
“Sri Lanka, where I am from, is densely populated country so I do enjoy the quiet and easy lifestyle of Bundaberg.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated the Kotakadeniya family and the rest of the residents who gained their citizenship this week.
“I want to express my heartfelt congratulations and welcome to each and every one of our new citizens,” he said.
“As you embark on this new journey, I encourage you to embrace and explore all the amazing opportunities that the Bundaberg Region has to offer.
“I would also like to acknowledge the presence of over 110 friends and family members who graced the occasion with their support.
“Thankyou to the incredible Rhythms of the Reef Chorus, Council staff and volunteers whose efforts made this ceremony an event to remember.”