Queensland Multicultural Awards 2015

The winners of the 2015 Queensland Multicultural Awards were announced at a dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 22 August 2015.

The quality of the Queensland Multicultural Award nominations in 2015 was once again outstanding and we received the highest number of nominations in the past five years.

The 2015 Queensland Multicultural Awards winners were:

Communication and Media

University of Queensland and Woodridge State High

In 2014 Woodridge State High School launched the Change Makers Project which aimed to build greater connections and cross-cultural understanding among Indigenous and Pacifica communities, newly-arrived refugees and people from the wider community in the Logan area. The project involved youth camps, student-led community events and an innovative student magazine 'Change Makers — The true story of Woodridge', featuring compelling and diverse multicultural stories combatting stereotypes and racism.

The school established a valuable and mutually beneficial partnership with the University of Queensland’s (UQ) School of Communication and Arts, utilising their technical expertise in layout and design. UQ students were also involved in the interviewing and editing of student-inspired stories, profiles and creative work. Five thousand copies of the magazine were initially distributed throughout Woodridge State High School HS, the local community and across the country.

In 2015, UQ students are continuing to support the Change Maker students by developing complementary online media formats including the development of a Change Maker website. The project had an overwhelmingly positive response and generated further media coverage in Australia and overseas.

Business Excellence

World Wellness Group Ltd

The World Wellness Group’s motto is 'a social business where the community’s health profits'. The innovative and sustainable business model addresses health inequity for marginalised migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The group runs a medical practice inclusive of allied health and traditional medicine services, but directs all profits raised from Medicare rebates and fee-for-services to fulfil its mission of providing affordable healthcare. Founded in 2011 by a small group of Brisbane health workers, the Stones Corner clinic was first established after a successful crowd funding campaign raised $20,000.

Since then the World Wellness Group has worked with a business consultant to develop a five-year business plan demonstrating its viability and potential for growth. The group has established strong corporate and local partnerships and was invited to participate in the G20 Innovation Hub last year, which showcased social businesses in Australia.

Education and Training Innovation

Kirwan State High School

Kirwan State High School prides itself on being a 'school for everybody'. Welcoming students from 49 different nationalities, the school celebrates diversity and encourages students to be internationally minded and graduate as global citizens.

The key to achieving this has been explicit and effective teaching and a strong core belief that every student has the right to be able to participate as a citizen of the world. The school has a highly successful international program, hosting hundreds of students from 16 different countries. Innovative strategies have been developed to ensure that all students benefit from the presence of international students, including planned events to promote cross-cultural sharing.

In addition, the curriculum has been audited to ensure it connects to the wider world, the school has embedded Asian literacy, introduced a second foreign language, and partnered with many schools from across the world to give students the chance to participate in overseas learning tours and volunteering. On top of this, the school hosts an annual Cultural Fest event and has engaged an Excellence in Indigenous Education strategy, resulting in outstanding gains in attendance, leadership, academic and vocational areas.

Services and Communities

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council has been a major investor in multicultural festivals and events that are integral to building an inclusive and harmonious community. Since 2005 more than 4.5 million residents and visitors have attended multicultural festivals like Paniyiri, Diwali and Korean New Year. Over the past decade, council has provided $2.5 million in funding to 42 organisations that delivered 216 multicultural festivals. These events engaged 11,000 professional artists and workers from the creative sector, as well as 31,000 volunteers.

This is the 10th year that council has provided triennial funding for such events to key multicultural organisations. The innovative decision to change from annual contracts to triennial funding has given greater certainty to organisers. The significantly improved business model enabled organisers to plan strategically for the long term, aided council efficiencies allowing for more rigorous evaluation, and streamlined administration through the use of an online grants management system.

Outstanding Volunteer

Ms Daphne Fung

Daphne works tirelessly to assist in all projects and activities of the Toowoomba International Multicultural Society (TIMS). The countless hours of her time spent volunteering has improved the lives of thousands of people in the region, helping to increase cultural understanding and create a more harmonious and cohesive community.

Daphne is a founding member of TIMS and is currently Vice-President. She has helped run the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival, Health and Wellness Expo, as well as the Chinese New Year celebrations for the past 8 years, which raise vital funds for local and overseas charities. Prior to her involvement, Toowoomba did not have any Chinese New Year celebrations. Daphne does all of the organising for this iconic event, putting in hundreds of hours each year and uses her own resources. Thanks to her efforts this has now become a mainstream event for the city. Daphne’s work through TIMS has aided in cultural exchange, information sharing and learning in the wider community. She has also built and maintained valuable relationships with local businesses, media, council and non-profit organisations through her selfless volunteering.

Multicultural Ambassador

Ms Yasmin Khan

Yasmin has been working tirelessly within the multicultural arena for more than 25 years in Brisbane. She is a regular speaker at conferences, schools, forums and in the media helping to build bridges and dispel myths about Islam and the Muslim community.

Yasmin started the very successful Eidfest, a celebration at the end of Ramadan, now in its 11th year. The event attracts 10,000 visitors from the Muslim and non-Muslim community. She has been a representative on government Muslim reference groups, consultation groups for domestic violence and she has also volunteered her time for interfaith discussions. Yasmin has worked with the Queensland Police and several years ago helped organise a relationship-building football match between the police and the Muslim community.

She was President of the Islamic Women’s Association for a number of years and is currently a Director of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland.

Minister's Multicultural Award

Ms Gabriela Corridore

When Gabriela and her family moved to Hervey Bay in 1991, she immediately realised the difficulties faced by people from culturally diverse backgrounds living in the Wide Bay area. In her pioneering work, she became a point of contact for the multicultural community and organised meetings, social interactions and home visits.

Her diverse skills and linguistic abilities allowed her to assist in the sharing of information and she often acted as a volunteer liaison officer to help groups, individuals and organisations develop multicultural policies and practices.

Over the years, Gabriela’s hard work has reduced feelings of isolation and vulnerability amongst the multicultural and ethnic community, as well as improved communication, confidence and support networks within the Italian speaking community. She has held numerous positions on local committees and is an Honorary Official Consular Correspondent of the Italian Consulate of Brisbane.

Minister's Multicultural Youth Award

Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours — Gladstone Youth for Cultural Diversity

Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours (WIN) is a not-for-profit organisation established to assist new residents and their families to confidently become part of the Gladstone community.

It was formed in 2010 to address the identified needs of new members of the community from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In 2014, WIN created the Gladstone Youth for Cultural Diversity group involving motivated young people who are passionate about cultural diversity in their community.

The group coordinates cultural events and innovative activities related to social inclusion, cultural learning and sharing. Social media in the way of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has allowed the group to continue to raise cultural awareness, enhance community connections and positively promote multiculturalism. As part of the youth initiative, WIN is also working closely with local high schools facilitating information sessions as well as a literacy and cultural support program.

Strong relationships have also been formed with the Gladstone Regional Council, industry groups and local businesses and media.

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