Multicultural Queensland Award 2019 winners

The Multicultural Queensland Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote an inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland community.

2019 winners

In 2019, we received a high calibre of nominees. The winners were announced at the Multicultural Queensland Awards gala dinner, held on Friday 30 August at the Royal International Convention Centre, Bowen Hills. Find out more about the winners below.

Winner: Nadia Saeed

Nadia Saeed

Nadia Saeed is a 20-year old youth worker who is a very active member of the Muslim community in Brisbane. She is a current member of the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel and is working hard to break down barriers within communities to facilitate connections and work harmoniously together.

Recognising the outstanding contribution of a young person (under 25 years of age at the time of nomination) who has helped create welcome and belonging and supported inter-cultural connections and understanding between people from diverse backgrounds. This can be in a volunteer or a paid capacity.

Winner: Ho Yeung (Ocean) Cheung

Ho Yeung (Ocean) Cheung

Ocean Cheung is an international student from Hong Kong, who has a firsthand understanding of the difficulties international students face in finding employment, work experience and internship opportunities in a foreign country.  He co-founded Startup Interns in 2018 with the aim of supporting Queensland’s diverse international student community in their professional career development, by connecting students to potential work experience opportunities.

Recognising the outstanding contribution of an individual (over 25 years of age at the time of nomination) to promote mutual respect, fair treatment and/or valuing the diversity of people in the community. This can be in a volunteer or a paid capacity.

Winner: Anna Voloschenko

Anna Voloschenko

Anna Voloschenko has been actively involved with diverse communities for over 30 years in a variety of paid and volunteer roles. Anna is a public health practitioner and registered psychologist, who has worked in senior positions and at a grassroots level with people from diverse communities directly in the areas of reproductive health, chronic disease, cancer screening and nutrition. Over her extensive career, Anna has effectively platformed health issues facing culturally and linguistically diverse Queenslanders and perspectives to advocate for equity and inclusion.

Recognising the outstanding achievements of groups or not-for-profit community sector organisations in creating inclusive, harmonious and united communities.

Winner: Romero Multicultural Hub

Romero Multicultural Hub

To a passer-by, it would seem a non-descript house in a typical Dutton Park street, but Romero Multicultural Hub (Romero) is so much more. For years it has been the beacon of hope, inclusion and welcome to hundreds of refugees and people seeking asylum searching for safety, inclusion and belonging. Romero, inspired by the legacy of Sister Catherine McAuley and St Oscar Romero, has been consistently bringing their service to the community. Romero does everything in their power to construct social bridges between cultures, religions, opinions and beliefs; to bring peace to those who are displaced, isolated and lost. At Romero, everyone belongs, and everyone is respected.

Recognising the outstanding achievements of a business in creating employment or other opportunities that value and promote diversity and inclusion.

Winner: Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd

Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd

Tambo Teddies has a long history as the market leader in handcrafted sheepskin teddy bears in Queensland’s outback.  However, in a town of only 400 residents it was impossible to secure the staff required to expand and grow the business. Due to the limited population base in Tambo, the company's ability to engage new sewers locally was severely limited and they needed to develop an alternative to the existing production model. Working with Multicultural Development Australia, they created a regional sewing hub, 750km from Tambo and working in partnership with Multicultural Development Australia to provide employment opportunities for newly arrived refugees.

Recognising the outstanding achievements of a state government entity or team within a local or state government entity to provide equitable access to services or enable increased participation of diverse groups in social or economic opportunities.

Winner: Toowoomba Regional Council

Toowoomba Regional Council

Toowoomba Regional Council is leading the way to increase the participation of diverse groups in social and economic opportunities with a dedicated multicultural officer, cultural diversity training for all staff, pro-active and welcoming policies for refugees and migrants seeking a better life in Queensland and engaging at a grassroots level to work with the community to achieve better outcomes for diverse Queenslanders.

Recognising the outstanding achievements of government and non-government early childhood education and care, schools, universities, TAFEs or registered training organisations in delivering inclusive programs that support participation and opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds.

Winner: Keebra Park State High School

Keebra Park State High School

Keebra Park State High School is a vibrant and diverse community with 800 students from over 63 different backgrounds, that acts as a beacon for students beginning their Australian journeys and learning English for the first time. Keebra Park is the only school within the Gold Coast Region that provides an Intensive English Centre (IEC). IEC is a specialist program for over 150 students from non-English speaking backgrounds that provides a holistic and meaningful learning approach for both students and their families to connect, thrive and succeed.

Recognising the outstanding achievements of an individual journalist, blogger, online influencer or media/communications initiative that challenges negative stereotypes or contributes positively to the narrative around cultural diversity.

Winner: Stefan Armbruster, Correspondent, SBS

Stefan Armbruster

Stefan Armbruster has been the SBS World News Queensland-based correspondent for 13 years, reporting on issues affecting Queenslanders from diverse backgrounds.  His coverage of the Toowoomba community’s willingness to embrace and welcome newly arrived Yazidi refugees, with their food stall and dance displays at the annual Toowoomba Languages and Culture Festival, has contributed positively to the narrative around cultural diversity.

Recognising the outstanding engagement in the Multicultural Queensland Ambassador Program (Ambassador Program) and how well the participating organisations, institutions and organisations have:

  • worked to embed the Multicultural Queensland Charter within their workforce, business and practices
  • strengthened their cultural capability
  • adopted best practices to promote cultural diversity and inclusion
  • participated in events and networking opportunities and engaged in building relationships with other Ambassadors and other groups including Cultural Advisor organisations.

Winner: Suncorp Group Ltd

Suncorp Group Ltd

Suncorp has demonstrated outstanding engagement in the Ambassador Program through their recently launched partnership with MDA Ltd, who are a Cultural Advisor organisation involved with the Ambassador Program.

Through Suncorp’s partnership with MDA Ltd they have been able to:

  • assist migrants from culturally diverse backgrounds with employment pathways and financial literacy workshops to build their financial inclusion and resilience, so they can thrive in their new home country
  • employ nine MDA Ltd clients through the partnership in 2019
  • participate in cultural capability training to better support customers and colleagues, helping them to prosper further.

Suncorp and MDA Ltd launched their partnership during Harmony Week 2019 (17–23 March) with ‘A Taste of Harmony’ lunch and cultural performances.