Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals Winners
Read about the 2017 Honour Roll Recipients here
See photos of the night here
NSW Human Rights Medal
The NSW Human Rights Award pays tribute to a person who has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the advancement of human rights. The NSW Government supports the tireless efforts of individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of those less fortunate and this award will provide an opportunity to recognise an exceptional individual in this field.
The award was established in recognition of Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, who personally saved tens of thousands of lives during the Holocaust.
WINNER: Karim (Ken) Habak OAM
For over 45 years, Karim, known as Ken, has advocated for and supported the rights of the individuals and communities who have made a substantial contribution to multicultural affairs in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Ken’s tireless contributions have been instrumental to the success of the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra. As a respected voice and leader in the community, Ken has enabled the Multicultural Communities Council to extend the reach and diversity of their services to diverse communities, particularly in the area of aged care and young people. He has also provided a wide range of employment and volunteering opportunities.
Economic Participation Medal
This award recognises an individual who has achieved outstanding success in fostering economic relations between New South Wales and another country in any industry sector.
WINNER: Mohamed Hage
Over the course of his career, Mohamed has worked with a range of diverse sectors in fostering investment, trade flows and creating stronger government to government ties in a range of sectors. These sectors include aviation, health, education, agriculture and food, infrastructure and finance between Australia and the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) region comprising the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. As State Chair NSW of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed has also assisted the state of NSW in generating new economic activities while continuing to strengthen trade and investment between NSW and the GCC region.
The region is also a priority market in attracting new investment into the state of NSW. Mohamed continues to add two-way investment capabilities for investment growth and diversification between the regions.
Regional Communities Medal
This award recognises the contribution of an individual who has significantly benefited the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of a regional community of a particular cultural background or a number of different cultural communities in New South Wales.
WINNER: Robbie Mackinlay
Robbie is a Cricket Development Manager in the Murray Region for Cricket NSW. He formed the Albury Bhutanese Cricket team, made up of young Bhutanese refugees. The team aims to encourage social participation, build mateship and integrate refugees with the local community. Robbie is passionate about the team supporting fellow youth refugees across Australia. Robbie is known for providing young refugees with kindness and helping them to feel at home. He’s also been involved with Cricket NSW and Cricket Albury-Wodonga to create the inaugural Bhutanese Big Bash League which started in January this year.
In recognition of the valuable role of a young person in promoting intercultural dialogue and co-operation. The nominee must be younger than 25 years of age at the time of nomination.
WINNER: Khushaal Vyas
Khushaal Vyas was a member of the Fairfield City Council Youth Advisory Committee who worked on planning and delivering a number of festivals in the local government area. He also advocated for the $7 million Fairfield Youth and Community Centre. Khushaal ran the Cancer Council Relay for Life, Bring It On! Festival, Cabramatta Moon Festival and a youth conference. He brought the voice of youth to the Council and provided input into the development and launch of the Youth and Community Centre.
Khushaal was also a key note youth speaker during the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to NSW.
Arts and Culture Medal
This award acknowledges the achievements of an individual who has enhanced the cultural and artistic life of New South Wales through the promotion of cultural understanding, information exchange and artistic endeavours within or between communities of different cultural and/or linguistic backgrounds.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dr Xue Feng Zhang
D Xue Feng Zhang is the Principal of the Sydney Datong Chinese School and Chairman of the NSW Chinese Language Education Council, which runs the National Chinese Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod is one of the largest language events outside China, attracting more than 2,500 entrants from across New South Wales who participate in Chinese language poetry and recitation. After a long career in education, Dr Zhang also continues to run education seminars for community groups, local councils and community.
WINNER: Carolina Triana
Through her work with Settlement Services International (SSI) Carolina has initiated several groundbreaking arts programs including New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival and the Arts and Refugee Forum 2016. Both events created employment and showcased the unique talents of recently arrived refugees. Carolina’s strategic work has led to a cultural understanding between community groups and the wider mainstream community. She is a dedicated advocate for achieving change and representing multicultural artists in New South Wales.
Lifetime Community Service Medal
This award recognises an individual’s lifetime commitment to community service within a migrant community. The individual will have demonstrated exceptional commitment by providing outstanding and distinguished community service over an extended period of time. The contribution shall have had a significant impact on the social or cultural wellbeing of the community.
WINNER: Antoinette Abdelseed Antoinette has worked for the last 30 years to help vulnerable families in disadvantaged communities across Sydney. She has expertise in policy reform and planning, advocacy and mediation, training and motivating. She’s worked for a number of government agencies as well as relief organisations overseas. Antoinette has also been invited to speak at a number of different international conferences and has worked extensively with community leaders, elders and teams in building leadership technique and skills.
Antoinette is the founder and director of Angels of Mercy Welfare Services that delivers mobile services to emerging communities from African and Arabic backgrounds.
Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Harmony Medal
This award recognises the contribution and achievement of an individual or organisation in facilitating and promoting social cohesion, understanding and acceptance between members of differing cultural or faith communities in New South Wales.
WINNER: Moving Forward Together Association
A dedicated team of volunteers have established the Moving Forward Together project to plant the seed of harmony and cooperation between organisations and individuals. Their Annual Harmony Poster and Song Writing Competitions have been highly successful attracting between 4,000 and 6,000 entries from school students. The 2016 theme ‘STOP, THINK, CONSIDER OTHERS’ was particularly successful. The working committees for the Harmony Walk Festival managed to engage a wide range of communities and sporting groups. Addressing how prejudice and stereotyping leads to conflict and violence, the project promoted the value of harmony and cooperation.
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