Nigerian family become Australian citizens

NIGERIAN Valentine Agugo finally feels like he can say the last "Oi" in our Aussie cheer.

And it was a proud moment for the Agugo family, as Valentine and two of his three children, Suzanne and N'eto, officially became Australian citizens at Gracemere's Community Hall yesterday.

From Nigeria all the way to the Beef Capital, Valentine said it was a very special day for him and his family.

"It feels great," the 39-year-old said yesterday.

"Before I became an Australian citizen I would only say 'Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi', but now I feel like I can say the last 'Oi'.

"I now know that I can be involved in anything I want and do things that I couldn't before I was a citizen."

One out of 63 recipients of the citizenship award, hundreds gathered to attend the ceremony which was also to announce Australia Day Award recipients.

Citizen of the Year went to Rockhampton's Merle Cole with Young Citizen of the Year awarded to Lucy Boyd.

Valentine, who has lived in Australia for six years, said his wife, Ngozi, made her children's and her own outfit for the special occasion.

"It was to make them unique and also to keep our culture, which is very important to us," he said.

He said that the lifestyle was the reason why he chose to stay and apply for citizenship.

"We have been in Rockhampton now for about four years now and I think it is a great place to raise a family," he said.

Rockhampton Regional Council received 40 nominations in total for the Australia Day Awards - 34 adults, and six youths.



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