Proud day for family

AS A child who grew up in a refugee camp Jyoti Bhandari could never have imagined that he would one day receive an Australian Maritime College degree in ocean engineering.

Born in Bhutan, Mr Bhandari was forced to flee to Nepal with his family in 1992 due to the political uprising and remained in a refugee camp for 18 years.

Yet today he will join more than 1000 other graduands as they walk through Launceston's streets as part of the Town and Gown Parade before being conferred their degrees from the AMC and University of Tasmania.

Mr Bhandari said as a child he didn't think about what he might do in the future, as camp life was all he knew.

His family arrived in Launceston in 2009 and after taking English lessons through TAFE, he told the cultural co-ordinator that he wanted to become an engineer.

They pointed him in the direction of the AMC and after four years and ``a lot of hard work'' he will be the first in his family to receive a university degree.

Mr Bhandari said he had never seen the ocean - as both Bhutan and Nepal are landlocked countries - until he arrived in Australia but such engineering work interested him.

``I wanted to do something new, with challenges, that's why I chose the AMC,'' he said. 

Mr Bhandari's wife Ganga, his parents Deuki and Thagu and brother Tulsi, will attend the ceremony.

The Town and Gown Parade will start at 10.30am in Civic Square and move south along St John Street, east along Brisbane Street and then through City Park before arriving at the Albert Hall at 10.45am.

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