- Friday 20 May 2016
Abdulsalam Tokh with his sons Farred, Barka and Saad.
A member of the Toubou people from southern Libya, Abdulsalam Tokh, and his wife Mariam Gaji, who moved to Australia in 2010 from Lybia, will become two of our newest citizens at a ceremony to be held in Maroochydore today.
“We are from the Toubou people, a minority culture, who live mainly in the south of Libya,” Abdulsalam said.
“I understand we are the only Toubou people living in Australia at the present time.”
A gifted student, Mariam was selected to receive a scholarship to complete her Masters of Agricultural Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.
“My wife and I came to Australia in 2010 from the city of Murzq, and settled in Toowoomba so she could complete her Masters degree,” Abdulsalam said.
“Mariam graduated in 2014 and during this time I supported her in caring for our children.
“We now have four boys who were all born in Australia.
“We moved to Coolum in 2015 because we wanted to live the Australian way of life and enjoy the beautiful weather on the Sunshine Coast.”
Abdulsalam trained as a specialist nurse in Libya and is now studying English to enable him to complete further study and gain his nursing qualification here.
“I graduated from nursing in Libya in 2007, but the requirements are different in Australia,” Abdulsalam said.
“I’m going to university to improve my English and then I hope to study nursing here.
“I also speak Arabic and Toubou, which is my mother's tongue.
“While I am studying, I have been working with Coolum Coast Care on the weeding and dune management program.
“I love working outdoors in this beautiful environment.”
Abdulsalam considers it a great privilege to become an Australian citizen.
“I particularly value the fact that citizens of Australia are given respect and dignity as individual human beings,” he said.
“I have found this is a country made up of many different cultures and religions and together this makes a beautiful life.
“It is a good example of the fact that we are all humans and that life is too short to be concerned by whether we are black or white.”
Australian Citizenship Ceremonies on the Sunshine Coast are held bi-monthly in locations across the region.
For more information visit council’s Australian Citizenship Ceremonies webpage.