Ekka proves to be ride of a lifetime for Australia’s newest citizens

History has been made at the Royal Queensland Show with Australia’s newest citizens officially welcomed at the Ekka for the first time.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe today welcomed almost 50 people from 20 countries at the citizenship ceremony, hosted by the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ).

“This was the first time in the Ekka’s history that new Australians took their citizenship vows at the show,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Ekka is such a wonderful event that brings together people from throughout Queensland to celebrate our diversity as well as what we have in common.

“This makes it the ideal venue to welcome Australia’s newest citizens.

“Not only is it the right place, it’s also the right time as August is Multicultural Queensland Month, with events happening across the State that celebrate our diversity.

“The Palaszczuk Government has also doubled the funding for the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland program to $2 million for three years, and last year delivered $4.3 million for the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Assistance program.

“Today it was wonderful to be able to embrace our new Australians from places as diverse as India, Serbia, Sri Lanka and the United States.

“Some migrants and refugees have travelled long distances and difficult roads to call Australia home and I am so pleased they now have the chance of a Queensland way of life.

“These new citizens will have the opportunity to experience the Ekka culture today, from the Dagwood Dogs to the fruit cake competitions and the baby animal enclosure.”

Mr Hinchliffe congratulated the ECCQ for the history-making ceremony.

“I hope today’s event will be the start of a great citizenship ceremony tradition at one of Queensland’s most important cultural events,” he said.

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