The 2020 Premier's Multicultural Community Medals had 22 finalists who were recognised for their outstanding commitment to social cohesion and community harmony.
Australian National Maritime Museum Arts and Culture Medal Finalists
Mary Nassibian: Mary Nassibian, a former principal dancer with the Egyptian National Folkloric Dance Company, migrated here in 1964 and established the Mary Nassibian Dancers. She has taught hundreds of children and adults Greek and Arabic dancing.
Raphael Ramires Brasil - Settlement Services International: For the last two years, Raphael Ramires Brasil has produced Settlement Services International's New Beginnings Festival, a leading celebration of refugee and migrant arts and culture.
Adaps Business Excellence - Corporate Medal Finalist
Woolworths Refugee Employment Program: To help people from refugee backgrounds, Woolworths and Community Corporate, a diversity and inclusion employment company, developed the Woolworths Refugee Employment Program. It has helped 100 people find jobs.
Welcoming Cities Business Excellence - Local Government Medal Finalists
City of Sydney: The City of Sydney Council's International Education Action Plan provides the 25,000 international students in its area an over-arching framework to support them. It focuses on welcoming, wellbeing and work-integrated learning.
Georges River Council: Georges River is an official Refugee Welcome Zone with partnership programs and an annual Refugee Week celebration. The area has a strong network of community services and organisations that support its diverse population.
B1 Group Business Excellence - Not for Profit Medal Finalists
Royal Life Saving NSW: In 2019, Royal Life Saving NSW funded swimming lessons for 240 adult refugee migrants. Royal Life Saving NSW also partners with ClubsNSW each year to deliver swimming lessons to adults from diverse cultural backgrounds.
SydWest Multicultural Services: SydWest offers services in settlement, aged care, disability services, and women's, families and youth development. It works with the diverse communities of Western Sydney by building strong relationships with community groups, associations and individuals.
All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal Finalists
Roukan Hakim: In September 2018, Roukan Hakim began work with Settlement Services International, who needed Kurdish Kurmanji Interpreters in the Armidale region. His language skills have filled a big gap in the services required in the region.
Emile Keller: Emile Keller, a migrant, has worked as an interpreter and translator in Romanian, Spanish, Italian, French, and German since the 1970s. Now in his 90s, he still contributes to translation and interpreting services.
Dinkha Warda: Dinkha Warda is an interpreter with the Department of Human Services. During the 1990s, Dinkha took time off from his paid work to interpret for new arrivals from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon who could not speak English.
SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal Finalists
Zia Ahmad: Zia Ahmad is the Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian Muslim Times and a Trustee of the Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare. He is an Ambassador of Peace for the Universal Peace Federation.
Sreeni Pillamarri: Sreeni Pillamarri serves on the boards of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club, Alive 90.5 FM, Sydney Telugu Association and United Indian Association. He has helped to coordinate the Walk for Farmers initiative, the Mateship Fair and a Fundraiser for Firefighters.
Settlement Services International NSW Human Rights Medal Finalists
Philip Feinstein: Realising that music is a wonderful stress reliever, Philip Feinstein, a former refugee, began teaching music to children and adults at the Villawood detention centre. The project has expanded to all of Australia's detention centres.
Mahboba Rawi: Mahboba Rawi began raising money and awareness for Afghan widows and orphans living in refugee camps in 1998. She has helped to establish orphanages, schools for boys and girls, primary health care services in rural areas, and vocational programs for women and young people.
CommBank Regional Unity Medal Finalists
Faye Anderson: Faye Anderson has been a Skilled Migration Officer in the Riverina for more than 15 years. She helps both employers and migrants with visa applications and has been known to drive new arrivals to job interviews on her days off.
Rathi Ramanathan: Rathi Ramanathan founded LOETUS (Language Other Than English Together with Us) to reaffirm the Valley as a welcoming region. She also led a campaign with likeminded allies to change the perception of Grafton post Christchurch, cultivating “white champions” to speak out against bigotry and intolerance.
Shepherds Bay Plaza Sports Medal Finalists
Dr Balraj Ougra: In 2010, Dr Balraj Ougra founded Super Sikhs Sports and Cultural which aims to engage the South Asian community through sport and cultural activities. This young community leader has worked hard to make sport accessible to all.
PCYC Savannah Pride Basketball Club: Savannah Pride is a community-run basketball club supported by PCYC NSW. Savannah Pride aims to inspire Australian youth through basketball. Up to 125 young people at a time take part in its training and skills clinics.
Barker Henley Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal Finalists
Susana Ng: Susana Ng developed the award-winning City of Sydney Living in Harmony Festival and International Student Leadership and Ambassador Program, which has been replicated across other organisations and government agencies.
Ghassan Noujaim: Ghassan Noujaim has advocated for children and families from culturally diverse backgrounds for more than two decades. He champions the importance of child safety, family preservation and respect for culture.
National Rugby League Youth Medal Finalists
Jinyoung Kim: Now 17, Jinyoung Kim has moved between Australia and Korea four times. Jinyoung coordinated a Prefects' Afternoon Tea that encouraged school prefects in Parramatta to intervene when playground racism occurred.
Lisa Marie Lewis: Lisa Marie Lewis, a postgraduate student, is a champion of bilateral relationships. She works with the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition, US Embassy and Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network.