This award recognises the achievements of an interpreter or translator for the role they play in ensuring that the community of NSW has access to essential information and services.
The winner of the 2023 Language Services Medal is Ngac Thuy Han Do.
Thuy began her language services career in Vietnam in 1987 and came to Australia in 2008 to care for her elderly parents in Sydney. In 2012, Thuy gained national accreditation as an interpreter and continues to provide language services to the Australian Vietnamese community. Thuy contributes to her community outside her work, providing language services to those who need help, especially those living with disability. She sees her role as one who helps to break down barriers to ensure everyone is included in our society.
This award recognises the achievements of an individual or sporting code that has promoted cultural understanding and sporting endeavours within or between communities of different cultural and/or linguistic backgrounds.
The winner of the 2023 Sports Medal is Herman Lotey.
Herman Lotey is a respected and well-known community figure in the sports industry. He arrived in Australia in 1990 from Sweden and is of Indian Sikh heritage. Through sport, Herman found he was able to find his place in Australia, leading to a career dedicated to multicultural engagement in sport across NSW. He is regarded as a pioneer of multicultural sport in NSW.
This award recognises the outstanding achievements of a Local Government organisation that has worked to develop and support a diverse local community.
The winner of 2023 Business Excellence – Local Government Medal is MOSAIC Multicultural Centre, Willoughby City Council.
Willoughby City, located about 9km north of Sydney’s CBD, is a city of diversity; 46.5 per cent of residents were born overseas and 41 per cent speak a language other than English at home. Over three decades, MOSAIC has built its reputation as the leading multicultural community hub in Sydney’s north, providing that diverse community with accessible programs for learning, leisure and social connection. Willoughby Council and its community take immense pride in MOSAIC and its long-lasting, positive impacts on the community.
This award recognises the outstanding achievements of a not for profit that has promoted diversity and inclusion in their programming.
The winner of the 2023 Business Excellence – Not for Profit Medal is Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA).
Established in 1995, MDAA is the peak body for all people in NSW with disability and their families and carers. MDAA reflects the wider community, with more than 75 per cent of staff, board members and volunteers from culturally diverse backgrounds. Its contributions have been recognised by the community and clients, with a proven track record of ongoing community work and projects aimed to promote, protect, and secure the rights and interests of people with disability, their families and carers.
This award recognises the outstanding achievements of a business in creating employment or other opportunities that value and promote diversity and inclusion.
The winner of the 2023 Business Excellence – Corporate Medal is Navitas Skilled Futures.
Navitas Skilled Futures transforms the lives of people from diverse backgrounds through education, employment, and community connections. Since 1990 it has trained more than 300,000 people from more than 125 countries in language, literacy, numeracy, and digital skills. In that time, it has continued to meet growing community demands for services for refugee and refugee-like communities. Navitas Skilled Futures’ core purpose is to transform lives through education. It works with governments, community groups and settlement and support agencies to provide everyone with the best and most relevant opportunities to thrive.
This award recognises an individual’s contribution and achievement in facilitating and promoting social cohesion, understanding and acceptance between members of different cultural or faith communities in NSW.
The winner of the 2023 Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Medal is Amir Salem OAM.
Amir Salem OAM has serviced TAFE multicultural services for over 25 years, pioneering the newly established position within multicultural education and establishing the framework for increased accessibility for thousands of non-English speaking students to TAFE courses. He is the longest serving board member of the Arab Council Australia.
This award recognises the contribution of an individual who has significantly benefited the economic, social and cultural wellbeing and unity of a regional community. For the purpose of this award ‘regional’, is defined as being outside the greater metropolitan area of Sydney.
The winner of the 2023 Regional Unity Medal is Glen Crump.
Glen is an Aboriginal man from Moree in NSW who has been actively involved in his community since he was 12. For the past 22 years, Glen has voluntarily hosted Mission Beat Aboriginal Radio, working to break racial stereotypes and promote harmony and inclusion in the Moree community. Glen pushes for Aboriginal children to finish High School and works to involve children from all backgrounds to get involved in sport in the region.
This prestigious medal recognises an individual who has made a lasting and meaningful contribution to advancing human rights in NSW.
The winner of the 2023 NSW Human Rights Medal is Mahboba Rawi.
Mahboba Rawi founded Mahboba’s Promise in 2001. She works to foster newly arrived Afghani orphans in Australia. Despite living alone, Mahboba currently fosters seven Afghani girls who have been recently resettled in Australia. She has helped them adapt to their new lives in Australia while helping them preserve their culture and language. Mahboba has also worked to establish primary and secondary schools for young boys and girls, primary health care services in rural areas, and vocational programs targeted at women and young people.
This award recognises the achievements of an individual who has promoted cultural understanding, and artistic endeavours within or between communities of different cultural and/or linguistic backgrounds.
The winner of the 2023 Carla Zampatti Arts and Culture Medal is Joanne Lee.
Joanne Lee is of Maori origin and for almost 10 years, she has been Club Manager at PCYC Blacktown. Two of her passions are the Onelove Mentoring program – a community-based initiative aimed at empowering, educating and connecting individuals through programs, creative expression and life experiences, and Haka Warriors – a program that gets young people practising the Haka and talking about resilience, identity and decision making.
This award recognises a person under the age of 25 who has helped create, welcome and support inter-cultural connections and understanding between people from diverse backgrounds.
The winner of the 2023 Youth Medal is Wi Meh.
Wi is the cornerstone of the Illawarra’s Karenni community. Before coming to Australia in 2011, Wi lived in a Karenni refugee camp on the Thai border and committed to learning English and finishing her education. Outside her role in schools as a bilingual support officer, Wi volunteers widely within her community to ensure the Karenni people have equitable access to information and support. During COVID she created explainer videos for the many Karenni refugees who are not literate in their first language.
This award recognises an individual’s commitment to community service within a migrant community. The contribution will have had a significant and lasting impact on the social or cultural wellbeing of the community that spans more than 30 years.
The winner of the 2023 SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal is Henry Nan Hung Pan.
Henry Nan Hung Pan is the founding Chairperson and Honorary Executive Director of the Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS), which is a multi-discipline community services provider for multicultural communities. Services include residential aged care, childcare, home ageing and disability services, settlement and health services, vocation and training services, volunteering services, cultural and interest classes, and more.
This award recognises the achievements of a teacher that provides outstanding learning aspects of language development to students.
The winner of the 2023 Community Languages Teacher Medal is Odarka Brecko.
For some 52 years, Odarka has committed herself to advocating for and supporting the maintenance of the Ukrainian language, culture, and traditions through her work in education and with young people. At 17 years of age, Odarka was the first Australian born volunteer teacher at St Andrews Ukrainian Catholic Community Languages School. She was appointed Principal in 1994. Over 5,000 students have been directly impacted by her leadership.
This award recognises the achievements of a person that has made a difference and has been highly commended in the NSW Community.
The winner of the 2023 Highly Commended Medal is Rose Lewis.
Rose is a role model for active citizenship, embracing difference and cross-cultural friendships while championing peer tutorship, leadership, and support initiatives. At university her impact broadened to state-wide and international projects. In 2017, Rose became a Multicultural Youth Affairs NSW Ambassador. Over the past two years Rose has served on the national advisory boards for the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission. She also volunteers for the Foundation for Young Australians.