Horsham nurse Julius Tan was one of two new Australians awarded citizenship at Horsham City Council's virtual Australia day ceremony.
Mr Tan was born on the islands of Visayas in the Philippines, where he worked as a nurse before coming to Australia. He arrived in Australia in 2014, initially living in Bairnsdale.
Mr Tan said the reason he moved to Australia was somewhat "corny".
"I am a bit of a romantic. When I was in college I had a girlfriend, she came to Australia and I just couldn't deal with saying goodbye," Mr Tan said.
"So I came here to be with her and now we have two kids."
Mr Tan described his arrival in Australia as very hard due to his Philippines nursing credentials not being recognised in Australia. He started delivering newspapers in Bairnsdale to save up money for a registration.
"I had to walk 11km a day," Mr Tan said.
"I woke up early just to roll the newspapers. I didn't know, nobody taught me how to do it so I just made it up.
"I woke up early and did my rounds. It was pretty embarrassing, people would look at me carrying around this bag.
"I didn't even have a trolley, I just carried it on my back. It was about 15kg but it got lighter the longer you went on."
After enough delivery runs, and with his wife's support, Mr Tan studied a certificate in aged care in Melbourne, working his way up to becoming a fully registered nurse.
His family moved to Horsham after his wife was offered a permanent job as a pharmacist here. Mr Tan said he initially did not like the idea of moving to Horsham, but the place quickly grew on him.
"I was grumbling initially because I really liked Bairnsdale. I was grumbling and a bit grumpy, but when I came here I fell in love with the place," Mr Tan said.
"Our family is growing. I have a stable job. It doesn't feel like I am standing on soft clay now. Before, I had this feeling I was just lost. When I first came to Australia I didn't know what to do with myself."
Mr Tan works as a registered nurse at the Wimmera nursing home. He said the one thing that made him want to stay in Australia was the people.
"The people in Australia are very friendly, very generous. I kind of fell in love with the people here," Mr Tan said.
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