Sadiki Mukasa has always had pride in his community, but will soon have the chance to share that satisfaction through a new state government program.
The one-time refugee is Victorian and proud of it, a fact which led to his selection in a program to tell the stories of people in the community.
Victoria and proud of it is a state government initiative to tell the stories of people like Mr Mukasa.
At nine years old he arrived in NSW with his family after years of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mr Mukasa said his family had left the Congo to find a safer place to live.
“We came to Australia as refugees because our country was impossible to live in due to the war,” he said.
“My parents moved around the Congo for awhile, trying to find a safer place to stay, but were unable to do so.”
After living in a Malawi refugee camp for four years his family got the news they had been desperately waiting to receive – they could move to Australia.
Six years ago he made the move to Ballarat and ever since has called Victoria home.
Mr Mukasa has applied to join Victoria Police, but in the mean time will share his story at the Ballarat Show on November 10.
He said after years of chaos Victoria had provided a place of relative freedom.
“Even when I moved to NSW, when I first came to Australia, it was a bit chaotic,” Mr Mukasa said.
“There has been more freedom in Victoria and all my family has slowly moved here. For me there are lot more people who are easier to get along with and easier to connect with.”
It is not the first time Mr Mukasa has represented the community.
He is also an ambassador for the Ballarat City Council’s regional multicultural council and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.
As part of the Victorian and proud of it program, a state government bus will be at the Ballarat Show for a virtual reality experience.
Known as ‘Vicky’, the truck will feature the stories of people Mr Mukasa, who are proud to live in the state.
Visitors can also record and share their own stories.
Mr Mukasa said more education in schools would help Victoria be an even better place to live.
“I would like to see the education system get a lot more schools culturally educated,” he said.