ACT Multicultural Awards

2017 Multicultural Awards Winners

The awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by people and organisations who promote and strengthen our multicultural community. Now in its seventh year, the awards focus on the great work that happens every day in support of multiculturalism, reflecting the respect and value for the cultural diversity of our community.

Business Enterprise Award - ACT AM 1323 Pty Ltd Trading as STAR AM Canberra
Community Organisation Award - Multicultural Employment Services (MES)
Education Award - Polish School Canberra
Media Award - Community Radio 2XXFM/Latino American Community
Multicultural Advocate of the Year – Mr Ziaul Hoque
Multicultural Advocate of the Year – Mrs Chin Wong
Multicultural Young Person of the Year – Mr Mostafa Eshan
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year – Mr Krishna Nadimpalli
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year – Ms Diana Rahman

No nomination was received for the Public Sector Award Category.

2016 Multicultural Awards Winners

The Business Enterprise Award is awarded to a business enterprise which has worked to maximise the benefits of the ACT’s cultural diversity.

The winner of this award category is Mr Derek Jiang, who is the founder and Managing Director of DR Print in Mitchell, a company that has been serving customers in Canberra and across Australia with quality offset printing and digital printing for over 18 years.

DR Print has seven full time employees, who originate from various cultural backgrounds and cultures and who each bring a professional, committed and innovative approach to their customers and to their company.

Mr Jiang is also the founder of the Australian Guangxi Friendship Association, a newly-formed Chinese community.

The Community Organisation Award is awarded to an ACT community organisation or an individual who has delivered initiatives which promote community harmony and benefit people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The winner of this award category is Ms Lisa Stephan, the Director of the Speilweldt German Parents Association, a community-based volunteer organisation that is working to promote German as a language for families of German, Austrian and Swiss heritage in Canberra.

Speilweldt is also considered to be a lead multicultural community organisation within the ACT, working closely to support and inspire other multicultural parent groups who are in the process of setting up similar playgroups, play schools and scout groups, in their respective mother language.

The Education Award, which recognises both leadership and the incorporation of multiculturalism as the core values of culture and practices, has been awarded to the ACT Community Languages Schools Association.

The Association is one of the largest multicultural communities in the ACT and has made a significant contribution to multiculturalism in Canberra for the past 26 years.

They have done this by nurturing the many ‘mother-tongue’ languages spoken in our community and by playing a vital role in maintaining Canberra’s diverse cultural heritage amongst our multicultural communities.

The Association has a membership of over 50 schools and playgroups and a compliment of 360 teachers - many of them volunteers - with over 2,500 students currently learning 36 different languages.

At the very core of its role, the Association works to promote the teaching of languages, history and culture of multicultural communities within the ACT and in the effective performance of this role, the Association believes it can strengthen the concept and understanding of multicultural education and foster mutual respect amongst the ethnic communities of the ACT.

The Media Award recognises media projects that have a positive focus upon the many different aspects of Canberra’s cultural diversity.

The co-winners of this Award were Rosemarie John and Joseph Ellis, who operate a highly successful social media enterprise: ‘Travel and Beyond,” and are high-profile social bloggers, based in Canberra.

Rosemarie is originally from Malaysia and Joseph originates from India. They met in the Philippines, got married in Indonesia, lived in Singapore for a few years before moving and settling in Canberra.

Both Rosemarie and Joseph are former graduates of the ACT Government’s highly successful Work Experience and Support Program or WESP, as it is commonly known.

Their blog, ‘Travel and Beyond’ and related social media platforms, focuses upon travel advice and travel experiences and includes components on the history, culture and food on offer at specific tourist destinations. Their Face book page, Twitter and Instagram accounts contains thousands of followers.

The focus of their social media platforms is not just confined to overseas travel destinations, with many of their blogs being specifically directed towards the promotion of various restaurants across Canberra, who offer multicultural food as part of their cuisine.

‘Travel and Beyond’ has also turned its attention towards the promotion of large-scale events which offer multicultural food, such as the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets and the National Multicultural Festival.

In the age of social media, ‘Travel and Beyond’ has been a major boon for the promotion of Canberra’s cultural diversity, through the promotion of multicultural food and the sharing of the ‘lived’ travel experiences of many Canberrans who have travelled to a diverse range of tourist destinations across the globe.

The Multicultural Advocate of the Year Award is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of multiculturalism in the ACT over the past 12 months.

The winner of this Award category is Mr Lucky Prasad, the President of Vishnu Shiva Mandir of Canberra. Lucky can best be described as one of the ‘leading lights’ within Canberra’s Indian community and is also well known in the broader ACT community.

He is a tireless worker, possessing an engaging, inspiring and collaborative manner, with a strong commitment to cultural harmony in our community.

The Multicultural Young Person of the Year Award is awarded to an individual who has championed the values of multiculturalism and the promotion of community harmony and positive community relations.

The winner of this award category was Ms Laura Welsh who serves the ACT community as a home tutor volunteer for the Australian Red Cross, within the Multicultural Services Program Homework Club.

Laura has been tutoring a young lady whom we shall refer to as ‘Mahalia,’ (for privacy reasons) who is the daughter of a family who are currently in asylum in Australia.

For this family, Laura Welsh has been the face of humanity. Her valuable and selfless service is an example of humanity at work in our community.

Laura’s consistent presence and support, particularly through the ‘ups and downs’ associated with people seeking asylum, has played a significant role in improving the learning outcomes for Mahalia and has led to greater social inclusion in our community for Mahalia’s family.

In the eyes of Mahalia, her family and the Australian Red Cross in Canberra, Laura has served as an inspiring and selfless champion of the values of multiculturalism; promoting community harmony and contributing significantly to the enhancement of positive community relations in our community.

The Public Sector Award has been recommended by the Steering Committee of the National Multicultural Festival, for an ACT Government Agency that for many years, has provided an important role and contribution to the ongoing success of the annual National Multicultural Festival.

The Environmental Health Unit from the ACT Government’s Health Directorate has been responsible for the delivery of public health protection during the National Multicultural Festival, for many years.
Their primary role, in accordance with current regulations for food handling and hygiene, is to minimise the risks associated with the handling and serving of food in a large-scale festival setting and to provide guidance, assistance, education and training to members of Canberra’s multicultural communities.

The Environmental Health Unit perform this role with tact, discretion and understanding amidst hundreds of food stalls and Festival attendances in excess of 280,000 people.

The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to an individual in recognition of their efforts and dedication as a volunteer, as a champion of the values of multiculturalism in our community.

The co-winners of the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award were
Mr Dean Sahu Kahn and Dr Willy Senanayake.

Dean Sahu Khan has been a tireless and extraordinary Chairman, Manager and volunteer Executive Director for the Canberra Interfaith Forum.

As the Chair of the Interfaith Forum, Dean has been:

  • A motivator for many, if not all of the symposia and monthly meetings;
  • Co-organiser of the annual Federal Parliament Harmony Day functions;
  • A member of the One Canberra Reference Group; and
  • Chairman for the Canberra Interfaith Forum’s participation in the annual National Multicultural Festival

These are just some of the many accomplishments that Dean has amassed in the past 12 months.

Dr Willy Senanayake has been a tireless volunteer manager for a wide range of ACT community organisations including his role as General Secretary of the Canberra Interfaith Forum and as a member of the National Multicultural Festival Steering Committee.
His volunteer work has included Claire Holland House and assisting Buddhist communities in the ACT as a community representative and as coordinator for national events involving the National Parliament.

Willy is considered to be a truly special individual who has championed and contributed enormously, the values of interfaith and multicultural harmony in the ACT and is considered to be truly deserving of this award.

2015 Multicultural Awards winners

  • Business Enterprise Award - Premier Capital Properties
  • Community Organisation Award - Health Care Consumers' Association of the ACT
  • Education Award - Bunyarra Children's Centre
  • Media Award - Helen Musa
  • Multicultural Advocate of the Year Award - Dr Krishna Nadimpalli
  • Multicultural Young Person of the Year Award - Jeeven Nadankumar
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award - Mohammed Ali

2014 Multicultural Awards winners

  • ACT Multicultural Centenary Advocate of the Year: Mr Raj Satija
  • Community Organisation of the Year Award: Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT Inc (MARSS)
  • Education Award: Charnwood - Dunlop School
  • Public Sector Award: ACT Health Directorate
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award: Mrs Raewyn Bastion

2013 Multicultural Awards winners

  • ACT Multicultural Centenary Advocate of the Year: Marion Le
  • Business Enterprise of the Year Award: Canberra CBD Limited
  • Community Organisation of the Year - Highly Commended Award: Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT Inc. (MARSS
  • Community Organisation of the Year Award - Overall Winner:Canberra Islamic Centre (CIC)
  • Education Award:Aranda Primary School - EALD Teaching Team
  • Media Award:Mr Victor Marillanca
  • Public Sector Award: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Child and Family Centres, Community Services Directorate
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award: Ebenezer Banful

2012 Multicultural Awards winners

  • Multicultural Advocate of the Year:Mr Deepak-Raj Gupta
  • Business Employer of the Year Award: Habitat Personnel
  • Community Organisation of the Year Award: Companion House Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma for the work of their Community Development Team
  • Education Award: Dickson College
  • Media Award: ACT Electoral Commission
  • Public Sector Award: Dickson College
  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: Mrs Shin Thu Gay

2011 ACT Multicultural Award Winners

  • Wolf Blass Multicultural Award for Private Enterprise: Fyshwick Fresh Food Market
  • Multicultural Award in Media: Radio 1 CMS and the Ethnic Broadcasters’ Council of the ACT and Surrounding District Inc
  • Multicultural Award for Community Organisation: Canberra Multicultural Community Forum
  • Multicultural Award for Public Sector: Housing ACT
  • Multicultural Award for Education: Canberra Institute of Technology Vocational College
  • Multicultural Award for Outstanding Volunteer: Ms Chin Wong
  • Multicultural Award for Multicultural Advocate of the Year: Ms Sela Taufa