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Queensland Multicultural Awards 2018

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

The 2018 theme is, ‘Building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland’.

2018 finalists

This year, we received a record-breaking 133 award submissions. The calibre of all nominees has been inspiring and we are pleased to announce the following finalists across each of the categories.

The winner of each category will be announced at a gala awards lunch held in Brisbane on 19 August.

Outstanding Young Achiever
Sponsored by International Education Services

Ralph Teodoro

Ralph Teodoro is committed to helping international students and has an incredibly active leadership role in the International student sector, in both a voluntary and paid capacity. He is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Council of International Students Australia, works for Queensland University of Technology in the Student Success Program, and is part of the Study Brisbane International Student Ambassador Program.

Nkosana Mafico 

Nkosana Mafico is a 23-year-old African Australian change-maker and scholar passionate about advancing humanity through business. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, he moved to Australia with his family when he was 10 years old and grew up in Brisbane. He is the Founder of the Council for Young Africans Living Abroad (CYALA), a leading professional development organisation for young Africans who are aged 18 to 28. He began CYALA to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Africa and to really develop African youth in Australia into future leaders.

Madina Mohmood

Madina Mohmood is passionate about supporting and promoting cultural diversity within the community. An Ambassador for World Vision in 2014 and attendee of the United Nations Youth Forum in New York in 2015, Madina has travelled throughout Queensland to engage with students about her experiences overseas. She has also co-founded the University of Queensland Afghan Student Association to assist Afghan students and break-down ethnic tensions and stereotypes between subcultures within Afghan culture, and between Afghan communities and the wider community.

Imaan Ashraf

Imaan Ashraf, a school captain at the Whitsunday Anglican School, is a proud and visible ambassador of Islam and works within the Mackay community to raise awareness and dispel misunderstandings about Islam. She is also committed to giving back to her community – participating in the School Amnesty Club, acting as President of the School Zonta Club and MC of the Mackay Open Day, which helps bring the people of Mackay together.

Outstanding Individual Achiever
Sponsored by Queensland Rail

Faiza El-Higzi

Sudanese-born Faiza El-Higzi is an active campaigner for human rights and cultural diversity within the Queensland community. She is described as a ‘bridge builder’ who strengthens community ties by creating spaces for conversations and interactions. Her work on community and government boards are important opportunities to bring attention to multicultural community issues and enable discussions that lead to positive outcomes.

Ari Palani

A culturally diverse migrant himself, Ari Palani is the Youth Arts Director at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba, working with newly arrived young people, migrants and refugees at Harristown High School in the English as an Additional Language or Dialect Department. By using the arts as his medium of choice, he is helping the community to build and express their cultural and artistic voices and has contributed to the resilience of families, some of whom are torture and trauma survivors.

Dorothy Khoo

For almost 30 years, Dorothy Khoo has been a highly active member of the Rockhampton Chinese Association and a vital force in bridging the local Chinese community with the broader community. Despite being of non-Chinese heritage, her sustained leadership has contributed to positively promoting the value of Chinese culture and multiculturalism within a regional community.

Victoria Zografos

Victoria Zografos has spent more than 60 years promoting cultural diversity within her own Egyptian-Greek community and the wider Queensland community, including 30 years as a dedicated member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland. Her work in the community has been integral to the settlement experience for many families and her contribution has ensured everyone has the right and opportunity to participate in all aspects of Queensland life.

Community
Sponsored by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

George Street Neighbourhood Centre Association Inc

George Street Neighbourhood Centre Association Inc (GSNCA) has been a key resource for the multicultural community of Mackay for almost 30 years and prides itself on being the leading organisation to promote multiculturalism within the local community. 

Buddies Refugee Support Group

Since 2002, Buddies Refugee Support Group on the Sunshine Coast has supported cultural diversity and community cohesion by linking newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers with the local Australian community to facilitate cultural understanding, social cohesion and integration. Buddies achieves this through hospitality and support services and through community education about the refugee experience in Australia.

Pure Land Learning College Association

Since its establishment by the Venerable Master Chin Kung AM in 2001, Pure Land Learning College Association has been facilitating and nurturing the Toowoomba community towards greater social trust. Through programs and activities designed to bring about inclusion and integration of the diverse communities, Pure Land Learning College Association has promoted Toowoomba as a model city of peace and harmony.

Belong

Belong’s Active Citizenship program arose as a direct response to concerns voiced by culturally and linguistically diverse community leaders that political engagement within their communities remained limited. Belong convened a steering committee of culturally and linguistically diverse community leaders and politicians to identify both challenges and potentials, and to develop strategies to address this situation. To-date, the program has enhanced participation in the recent Queensland elections in nine communities, and has raised knowledge, understanding and awareness of Queensland’s democracy across an additional 29 communities.

Business
Sponsored by Commonwealth Bank Australia

Access Community Services Ltd

Operating out of Logan, one of Australia’s most culturally diverse communities, Access has crafted a reputation and proven track record in increasing the understanding, skills and capabilities of newly arrived migrants to transition and actively participate in the community.  Access works closely with local communities to stimulate community engagement and to build bridges between the diverse cultural and ethnic groups of the South-East Queensland region.

SBS Radio Mandarin and Embodi Media

SBS Radio Mandarin and emerging Brisbane company Embodi Media, co-founded by journalist Amy Chien-Yu Wang, have recently co-produced a cutting-edge journalism video project in 360-degree view about Brisbane’s annual Festival of Tibet held at the Powerhouse. 

LESI Digital Music Education Centre

LESI Digital Music Education Centre in Sunnybank focuses on inspiring babies with music and teaching children (from 4 to 15 years old) electronic drums and digital piano on a digital teaching platform innovated in China. LESI Digital Music Education Centre attracts students from diverse backgrounds and has been actively engaged in the activities of the local community groups and associations.

SBS Radio Dinka and SBS News – Queensland correspondent

When a group of survivors of South Sudan's second civil war gathered in Brisbane this year to remember the past 30 years after the conflict, SBS Radio Dinka Executive Producer, David Chiengkou and SBS Queensland correspondent Stefan Armbruster partnered to cover the story to reach a broad Australian audience.

Government (local and state)
Sponsored by Telstra

Queensland Police Service – Connected Women Program

The Queensland Police Service (South Brisbane District) has developed and implemented the Connected Women Program. This unique, vibrant, women-led program is designed especially for newly arrived young refugee Muslim women referred by partner agency, the Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA).

The free, nine-week program, funded through the Suncorp Safer Community Grants Scheme, ran from July to October 2017 and delivered a unique opportunity for newly-arrived young refugee Muslim women to have a voice, improve engagement, build trust and confidence in police, to increase the reporting of crime, and make young refugee Muslim women feel and be safer.

Metro South Refugee Health Service

Metro South Oral Health (MSOH) and Metro South Refugee Health (MSRHS) have implemented the first unified, innovative service model in Queensland enabling harmonious, inclusive, fair and safe access to timely and appropriate total health care for newly arrived refugees. These two Metro South Health departments determined that incorporating oral health and general health into the existing nursing-led health assessment pathway for all newly arrived people would enable culturally safe practice, reduce duplication and costs, and provide initial screening, triage and preventative care within 28 days after arrival.

Queensland Performing Arts Centre  

During the past 12 months, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has delivered a series of inclusive new arts-based programs created in collaboration with people and communities of diverse backgrounds. Including:

  • We All Dance – Enabling people from the Syrian and Bhutanese-Queensland communities to explore dance and performance across three months.
  • Songs of Hope and Healing – Supporting numerous young people from refugee backgrounds to be part of a new 70-voice youth choir that rehearsed across two months at QPAC, hosted by African community leader, Sharon Orapeleng.
  • Brisasia Festival – A partnership that brought ideas, culture, and performances by local Asian-Australians to the mainstage.

Townsville City Council – Construction, maintenance and operations

Townsville City Council’s construction, maintenance and operations team supports and promotes the benefits of cultural diversity within the community by supporting State Government employment programs targeting the full participation of Queenslanders from culturally diverse backgrounds, in particular work skills trainees, funded under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program.

Education, training and skills
Sponsored by Sarina Russo

Woodridge State High School/University of Queensland

The Change Makers' Project, is an education-based initiative harnessing the power of the media to break cultural stereotypes in Logan, to bring about social change. The project, which has been running for four years, involves up to 50 students at Woodridge State High School and eight journalism students from the University of Queensland. In 2017, the team produced a 35-minute documentary featuring the unique and powerful stories of Woodridge State High School's diverse student body. Centred on the themes of pride, hope and inspiration, the documentary was the first of its type ever made in a Queensland school.

Bundaberg State High School

Bundaberg State High School has established a consortium of members comprising TAFE, Bundaberg Regional Council, Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre and HeadSpace. This consortium works collaboratively to assist international students and students from culturally diverse backgrounds while at school through mentoring programs, leveraging Sister City relationships and establishing a Multicultural Drop INN centre.

Yeronga State High School

Yeronga State High School has been very proactive in advocating for and developing culturally inclusive practices for more than 30 years. Yeronga State High School is one of the most culturally diverse schools in Queensland, with more than 70 cultural groups represented by 64 countries, with 65 per cent of students born oversees and approximately 40 per cent of students being refugees, special humanitarian entrants or seeking asylum. The school has implemented an International Student Program, English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) Program and the entire school community have outstanding outcomes in fostering intercultural alliances and promoting the benefits of cultural diversity.

Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue

The Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue (ICD) is the only university centre of its type in the Pacific region and one of only a handful in the world. Sitting at the crossroads of community, education engagement, religious and secular institutions, the ICD is a critical partner in facilitating engagement between key stakeholders and building systems and solutions for Queensland’s future.

Multicultural Queensland Ambassador
Sponsored by QSuper

Football Queensland

Football Queensland through delivery of the Welcome to the Game program, have progressively built a productive and proactive community collaboration that uses the power of sport in promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in Brisbane and wider areas. Football Queensland has eliminated a number of barriers that limit participation, particularly of recently arrived refugees, people seeking asylum or migrants who do not often consider sport or recreation a priority in the first years of settlement. They have done this by adapting competition fees and payment structures to suit the needs of the participants, organising kick-off times to accommodate teams during the month of Ramadan, and providing additional external support from competition managers, coaches and administrators to assist these groups learn and develop the skills they need to operate in a traditional and formal competition.

Townsville Multicultural Support Group Inc

Townsville Multicultural Support Group Inc (TMSG) is a small business contributing to prosperity through its diverse humanitarian workforce of 47 staff who promote diversity in regional Queensland. TMSG staff, volunteers and students contribute willingly to build an inclusive, warm and welcoming local community by supporting humanitarian arrivals to Townsville, hosting multicultural activities and encouraging local agencies to host celebrations such as Harmony Day, Refugee Week and other social action.

AFL Queensland

AFL Queensland – in collaboration with leading Queensland Universities, Queensland Department of Education and Training, numerous community partners and several teachers – designed and developed Everyone Matters. This curriculum program is a celebration of multiculturalism and promotes inclusive behaviours, positive relationships and valuing diversity while using AFL as a vehicle for learning. The program is targeted towards Year 4 and aligns with the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education. The well-resourced program is free for schools and comprises lesson plans, activity resources and assessment tools.

Islamic Women’s Association of Australia

The Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA) has worked consistently towards dispelling myths about Muslims and promoting a fair and harmonious Queensland through community education campaigns addressing local issues. IWAA has also worked specifically at addressing those issues within culturally diverse communities that may contribute to negative stereotyping by the broader community. They appeared in the SBS documentary, ‘The Mosque Next Door’, which provided a national television program that dispelled myths and challenged stereotypes surrounding Muslims in Australia. They have also delivered parenting workshops that assist migrants to develop non-physical strategies for parenting their children and respectful relationships programs which are aimed at educating young Muslim people on the positive foundations of non-violent relationships.

Attend the gala awards

Tickets to the gala awards lunch—to be held at the Hilton in Brisbane on 19 August, during Queensland Multicultural Month—are now on sale.

Find out more and buy your tickets via Eventbrite today.

Visit www.qld.gov.au/multiculturalmonth to learn more about Queensland’s celebration of multiculturalism through the month of August.

Award categories

The 2018 categories are:

Outstanding Young Achiever

Recognising the valuable contribution of a young person in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals. The nominee must be younger than 25 years of age at the time of the nomination and can include individuals in a volunteer or paid capacity.

Outstanding Individual Achiever

Recognising the valuable contribution of an individual in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals. The nominee must be 25 years of age or more at the time of the nomination and can include individuals in a volunteer or paid capacity.

Community

Recognising the outstanding achievement/s of groups or not-for-profit community sector organisations in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals.

Business

Recognising the outstanding achievement/s of a business, company, finance or media in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals.

Government (local and state)

Recognising the outstanding achievement/s of a government organisation, or a team within a government organisation, in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals.

Education, Training and Skills

Recognising the outstanding achievement/s of government and non-government early childhood education and care, schools, universities, TAFEs or registered training organisations in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals.

Multicultural Queensland Ambassador

Recognising the outstanding achievements of the participating organisations of the Multicultural Queensland Ambassador program in building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland—helping to promote Queensland as a place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging and can achieve their goals.

There will also be a ‘Minister’s Multicultural Award’ that recognises the outstanding achievement/s of a nominee, selected by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs from all nominations.

The award winners will be promoted in Queensland Government publications and websites and may be selected to be interviewed by media organisations.

Contact details

Last updated
12 July, 2018
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