How our newest citizen from Nairobi came to live on the Sunshine Coast
  • Friday 16 September 2016
citizenship ceremony, paresh patel

Paresh Samji Naran Patel was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and will become one of our newest citizens at a Citizenship Ceremony to be held tomorrow, Saturday, September 17.

Paresh said that while he had a normal childhood in his hometown, life was hard, unsafe and offered few opportunities.

“Like many other children in Nairobi, I attended school and all I did was study,” Paresh said.

“But life in Kenya was very difficult - there was no security and it was unsafe.

“My parents have lived in Kenya all their lives and they knew, as children, we didn’t have a future in that country.

“They wanted me to settle in a well-developed country where I could live safely and happily.

“I completed high school at the age of 17 and, with help and support from my family and friends, I took a step to come and study at university in Australia.

“My family was very happy with my decision and I moved to Sydney in 2006.

“I was a full-time student at the University Of Western Sydney, where I studied Bachelors of Economics and Finance.”

During his time at university, Paresh learned a lot about Australia and the culture.

“I started to love everything about Australia,” Paresh said.

“I loved the multicultural society, good weather, security, the financial stability of the country, and lots of other small things.

“After completing my university degree, I knew I wanted to stay in Australia and live the rest of my life here.

“Getting a job in Sydney was difficult so I decided to move to the Sunshine Coast and open a small business.

“I wanted to live a life that was balanced with work and relaxation. Life on the Sunshine Coast is much more relaxed than in Sydney.”

Paresh currently runs a local fruit and vegetable business.

“After my citizenship ceremony I’m looking forward to investing more around the Sunshine Coast,” Paresh said.

“As we know, the Sunshine Coast is developing rapidly and there are a lot of opportunities to invest in houses and businesses.

“From my own perspective, I think if I open another business on the Coast I could provide employment to at least two or three other people.

“I know it’s a very small number but I think if there are at least 100 people like me who invest and open small businesses and employ two or three people that will lead to jobs for at least 200 people.

“Investment in Sydney is quite expensive compared with the Sunshine Coast and I hope there other like-minded people out there in Australia who think the same way and want to provide employment for locals.”

The Citizenship Ceremony will be held at 9am on Saturday, September 17 at Coolum State School.

Australian Citizenship Ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held bi-monthly in locations across the region.

Visit Council’s website for further information on Australian Citizenship Ceremonies.