Newest Aussies love Australia and ready to vote in election

AMONG Taiwanese, Germans and Canadians, there were five Africans who were proud as punch to be able to call themselves Australians yesterday.

David and Cynthia Chiketa moved with their three children to Rockhampton five years ago from Zimbabwe for David's work.

All five received their citizenship at a ceremony at yesterday's Cultural Festival, and David and Cynthia were also able to enrol to vote, just in time to take part in their first Australian election.

Mr Chiketa had a far more positive view of Australian politics than most.

"They all sound good, I haven't seen a bad side of anyone," he said.

Despite the huge distance, Mr Chiketa said they had always felt at home in Australia.

"Even from the first time we came we saw a very good welcome ... plus today it made it even better," he said.


Daughter Grace, 15, has aspirations to study medicine, and was very happy to have her Australian citizenship.

"A lot of people who have degrees, it's hard for them to find a job (in Zimbabwe)," she said. "I know that I'm going to go there to visit but I would like to stay here because there's better opportunities."

Like her daughter, Mrs Chiketa said Australia had a lot to offer.

"It's important because now I can share the good things that Australians share, if I want to go to school I can do it now without restrictions."

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