ECCQ, in partnership with the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA), the Queensland Government and the Department of Home Affairs, hosted the first citizenship ceremony ever held at the Ekka.
ECCQ CEO, Peter Last said this is the start of a new tradition.
“ECCQ has a long history of hosting citizenship ceremonies,” he said. “We hope to continue to host a citizenship ceremony during Multicultural Queensland Month at the Ekka. It’s a great way to celebrate our cultural diversity at Brisbane’s biggest cultural festival.”
The first citizenship ceremony in 142 years of the Ekka welcomed nearly 50 new citizens. Katrina Blowers from channel 7 was the MC the event. Elijah Buol OAM, ECCQ Deputy Chairperson opened the official part of the ceremony with a welcome and congratulatory message. The Honourable Trevor Evans, MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environment Management and Federal Member for Brisbane presided and lead the citizenship pledge. The Honourable Stirling Hinchcliffe, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs lead the affirmation for guests and members of the public who wanted to affirm their commitment to Australia.
The ceremony was opened with a Didgeridoo performance by Dean Tyson and Indigenous Elder Uncle Shannon Ruska conducted the Welcome to Country and later conducted a smoking ceremony with Tim White.
“We think the Ekka is a fantastic place to host a citizenship ceremony,” said Peter. It’s one of Queensland’s most popular events and a great way to experience Australia’s traditions and cultural past-times.”
ECCQ is Queensland’s peak body for multicultural affairs. ECCQ supports and advocates for the needs, interests and contributions of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Queensland and provides culturally inclusive health services, information and education.