Celebrating history and new beginnings


No matter how you celebrate Australia Day, the 26th of January gives us all a chance to reflect on our history and appreciate the land on which we live.

But for some, this day can mark the beginning of a new journey and a fresh start.

This year 39-year-old Waratya Nasomkhwan, from Udon Thani in Thailand, will officially become an Australian citizen.

Waratya worked as a massage therapist in various salons and spas in Samui Island in South Thailand to help support herself and her son which she raised by herself.

Waratya first travelled to Australia as a tourist on a holiday visa in 2013, but after relocating to Australia permanently three years later, she could hardly speak any English.

Waratya decided to enrol in the STEPS Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), something she credits massively to obtaining her newfound citizenship.

“When I first came to Australia my English was weak since I didn’t learn any English back in Thailand,” she said.

“I think STEPS did not only teach me English but supported me a lot in preparing for the citizenship exam. Moreover, the school updates me with all the new information needed for me to live in this country.”

Waratya now lives with her partner which she originally met whilst working in Thailand, and their three sons aged 11, four and two.

She is currently studying an English course and plans to use this to make an impact on other’s lives.

“When I finish my Certificate III in English I want to enrol in an aged care course. Since I like to help people, I think this course is ideal for me and I will have a job I love doing,” Waratya said.

The STEPS Adult Migrant English Program offers unlimited hours of free English lessons to helps migrants learn practical English to help them access services, work, study and enjoy their lives in Australia.

If you think this course may suit you or someone you know, click here.


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