CITIZENS: Former Hindmarsh Mayor Rob Gersch, centre, with Karen people inducted as new citizens in Nhill earlier this year. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWIMMERA Development Association is lobbying for regional citizenship tests to help more migrants become part of the community.
The association is building a submission to the Federal Government, which supports regional citizenship testing options for Wimmera residents.
Executive director Jo Bourke said at the moment migrants had to travel to Melbourne or Ballarat to sit citizenship tests.
‘‘We are collecting information from councils on the number and type of citizen ceremonies they host,’’ she said.
‘‘Earlier this year the Department of Immigration trialled citizenship testing in the region and more than 30 people sat the test successfully.
‘‘We believe we should have access to that regional test more regularly.’’
Mrs Bourke said it was difficult and stressful for migrants to travel to an unfamiliar environment for the test.
‘‘The feedback from testing we had in the Wimmera was that people were more relaxed and less stressed,’’ she said.
‘‘A couple of people who didn’t pass the test initially were also able to re-sit the exam later that day, which is not always practical if someone is making the trip to Melbourne,’’ she said.
Mrs Bourke said the Department of Immigration did not believe the Wimmera warranted a regular test because there weren’t enough people in the region who would need it.
‘‘We are questioning the data the department is basing their information on,’’ she said.
‘‘One of the issues is applicants don’t get the choice to sit the test in the Wimmera, which would skew the data.
‘‘By collecting information from ceremonies in the region, we are hoping to build a better picture of the situation.’’
Mrs Bourke said the study was a work in progress and it was not yet known when it would be ready.
She said people could call her on 5381 6500 if they wanted be involved.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.