"I feel so proud."
"I don't have the words to describe my happiness."
They're refrains which wouldn't sound out of place in the maternity ward.
It's like a parent bumbling for the right words to encapsulate the universe of possibility contained within the small body of a new born.
Only these quotes weren't gathered at the hospital.
It was in the dimly-lit Tamworth Town Hall on an unpretentious day where history was made.
November 28 became a hugely significant date for at 61 families in Tamworth in 2019 and the city at-large
It was the city's biggest ever citizenship ceremony.
It surpassed every previous event held on Australia Day or Citizenship Day (September 17).
They're just dates in the calendar, but these events take on a significance which is hard to minimise.
It's not about the mayor's ceremonial clobber or the more inclusive second verse of Advance Australia Fair getting some airtime.
It's a new beginning which comes at the expense of a previous life in a far away place.
It's the finish line of a long race including countless legal hoops to jump through and language barriers to overcome.
It's almost like a rebirth.
'It would be a dream, but it just came true'
Arun Babu took the citizenship pledge with 60 other people in Tamworth recently.
He grew up in south India where Australia existed as a distant wonder.
Its natural and built landmarks were things which stood out when he recalled his earliest impressions of Australia as a boy.
Since living in the country, something else shined about Australia.
"I never thought about becoming a citizen when I was a child, it would be a dream, but it just came true," he said.
"It was a great transition in terms of culture.
"What I learnt from here is: people respect each other, value each other."
When his new citizenship became a reality after about seven years after leaving his first home and working in sometimes intense environments, the first thought was pride.
And the second was service.
"As I was taking the pledge, I was thinking 'I need to do something really good for the community'," he said.
Mr Babu previously lived and worked in Armidale and has been content in Tamworth where he is a clinical nurse specialist at the hospital.
Despite working in a profession regularly deemed one of the nation's most-trusted, there's still a need to repay the gift of citizenship.
Becoming Australian was a big call with family still living back in India.
But he said his family was proud of his decision. "They would be proud, absolutely," he said.
"Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of respecting each other.
"That is one thing people acknowledge about Australia, it is a peaceful country, so [my mother] would be definitely proud of me being and Australian citizen."
'I haven't found this anywhere else'
Roya Moddi was just a spectator on November 28. But she is hoping to become an Australian soon.
She was born in Iran, has lived in other middle eastern and Scandinavian countries and travelled extensively.
Having landed in Tamworth barely a few months ago after some time living in Sydney, something really shined here
It is not always about you, it is also about the people you can see.Roya Moddi
"The feeling of community that is here in Tamworth, I haven't seen that anywhere else," she said.
"It feels like home.
"You don't find that sense of community in big cities."
Her fascination with Australia started at a young age, in books.
"When I was a kid, I had an encyclopedia gifted to me and I was very keen kid and I started to read that encyclopedia like a book," she said.
"I started to read it cover-to-cover and there was a lot of things in that encyclopedia that were new to me being from the other side of the world.
"All of the Australian animals, nature and culture and I just loved it."
She could, however, sense something even more precious after she lived in Australia.
"The acceptance, I believe Australia has, for different cultures, different communities, different languages and people with different attitudes and orientations, that is very precious," she said.
"It is a sense of freedom and you can be what you want to be and other people can be what they want to be.
"It is not always about you, it is also about the people you can see."
Ms Moddi has only called Tamworth home for a short period of time, but she wants to participate in the Queen of Country Music Quest which she saw as an empowering concept for women in the region.
'It is pretty brave'
Bronwyn Cantrill has been teaching English at Tamworth TAFE for a number of years.
Sitting back in the town hall on November 28 with some current students, she couldn't help but notice the familiar names standing to receive citizenship.
Over the last few years, the English classes have gotten bigger, but the work is just as rewarding. Working closely with migrant communities, Ms Cantrill saw Tamworth's relatively small size as a strength.
"In a bigger city like Sydney, they would find their culture group and stay in it," she said.
"But here, there is such great exposure and opportunities to meet other people."
While the condensed community in regional city helps amplify a closeness and connection, Ms Cantrill said the move took some guts on the migrants' part.
"People are brave enough to come to a small town like Tamworth and put themselves out there," she said.
"There is a chance no one will speak their language here."
A challenge which is probably lost on a lot of non-native English speakers.
"It is pretty brave where English is the only mode of communication," she said.
"We've got no idea what it is like to be in place where they don't speak your language."