2023 ACT Multicultural Awards

For more information contact the ACT Office for Multicultural Affairs (OMA) by email at oma@act.gov.au or phone (02) 6207 1380

Read about the winners by selecting the year below.

Award winners

Category 1: ACT Multicultural Individual Champion Award

Winner: Mijica Rose Lus

Mijica Rose Lus supports multicultural communities in the ACT with a range of initiatives, such as the Aurosokwo project, which encompassed a range of activities from creating care packs, book drives, and medical outreach, to collaborating with local charities and organisations. Her active engagement with youth advisory boards, local schools, and international organisations exemplifies her commitment to nurturing a more inclusive society.

Highly commended: Tendayi Ganga

As the Founder of the Born To Shine Not for Profit Organisation, Tendayi has demonstrated a deep dedication to empowering women and creating spaces for meaningful connection and growth. Her involvement in the CALD Community Action Group by White Ribbon Australia showcases her proactive approach in addressing family violence and advocating for policy changes.

Highly commended: Dr Lubna Alam

Dr Lubna Alam’s impactful work as a diversity and inclusion advocate at her workplace and as the Co-Founder and President of the ALO Enlightened Women Inc. showcases her dedication to fostering a welcoming and harmonious environment.

Category 2: ACT Community Organisation (Multicultural Champion) Award

Winner: ALO Enlightened Women Inc.

ALO has made a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of multicultural community members, especially migrant and refugee women who are marginalised and vulnerable, through their comprehensive range of programs and services.

Highly commended: Refugee and Migrant Swim Program

The Refugee and Migrant Swim Program supports new Australians and Canberrans by providing practical swimming lessons to improve water safety. Lessons are trauma-informed and culturally safe, ensuring the comfort of participants from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Category 3: ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Winner: Dr Lubna Alam

Dr Alam is a co-founder of ALO Enlightened Women Inc., supporting and empowering vulnerable migrant women through the organisation. She is extensively involved in the wider multicultural community, providing support and leadership to foster an inclusive society.

Highly commended: Andrew Sein

Andrew Sein is a leader in the Karen community in the ACT. He has served in various community organisations, and initiated programs such as the Karen Master Chef competition to foster connection and joy within the community.

Highly commended: Ravi Krishnamurthy

Ravi Krishnamurthy’s leadership in roles as President of the Tamil Sangam of Canberra and President of the Australian Multicultural Action Network, among others, has played a pivotal role in fostering cultural understanding and community engagement.

Category 4: ACT Multicultural Art, Media or Culture Award

Winner: Radio Manpasand

Since its inception in 2004, Radio Manpasand’s dedication to serving the Indian and subcontinental diaspora is evident through its long-standing and impactful presence on the airwaves and beyond. Radio Manpasand has functioned as an invaluable platform, broadcasting a diverse range of content, including talkback, interviews and Indian music that resonates with its listeners.

Highly commended: Canberra Telugu Vaani and Samithi Inc.

Canberra Telugu Vaani and Samithi Inc. is a weekly radio program that has been on Canberra airwaves for 3 decades, supporting the Tegulu-speaking diaspora and wider community, making significant contributions to enhancing cultural understanding and appreciation.

Special Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient: Domenic Mico OAM

Domenic Mico is deeply connected with the multicultural and arts communities in the ACT and has been for the last 50 years. As the former Artistic Director of the National Multicultural Festival, he was instrumental in the event’s development. He is also the former Director of the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, and was involved in numerous other cultural and artistic events and programs in the Canberra community.

Award winners

Category 1: ACT Multicultural Individual Champion Award

Winner: Dr Jane Chimungeni-Brassington

Dr Jane Chimungeni-Brassington has a record of achievements across the community, with a particular focus on women from vulnerable and diverse backgrounds.

Highly commended: Emeritus Professor John Minns

Mr John Minns has been a tireless and committed campaigner for refugees and the disadvantaged across Canberra over a long period of time, building the ability of ACT refugee community groups to inform the public of the issues they face.

Highly commended: Dr Shamaruh Mirza

Mental health can be a difficult topic to discuss regardless of a person’s cultural background. Dr Shamaruh Mirza has been instrumental in establishing her organisation SiTara’s Story to raise community awareness while training women from diverse cultural backgrounds in mental health and disability issues.

Category 2:  ACT Community Organisation (Multicultural Champion) Award

Winner: Her Kitchen Table

Her Kitchen Table provides training and support for women from diverse backgrounds to gain and maintain economic independence, taking a compassionate and innovative approach that serves as a model for similar programs across Australia.

Highly commended: ABC Canberra

ABC Canberra has put community stories and experiences at the centre of its commitment to providing a platform for sharing, discussing and celebrating cultural diversity across Canberra and the ACT region.

Category 3: ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Winner: Mr Nazmul Hasan

Mobilising support and delivering food hampers to Canberrans across all faiths and backgrounds, Mr Nazmul Hasan has been a role model in serving community needs.

Highly commended: Dr Shanti Reddy

Dr Shanti Reddy has made a significant contribution to promoting diversity and inclusion across Canberra and the ACT region, particularly through his work with and on behalf of Canberra’s growing Indian community.

Category 4: ACT Multicultural Art, Media or Culture Award

Winner: be:longing online magazine

By providing a space for cultural expression, be:longing online magazine has provided members of Canberra’s multicultural community with new opportunities for artistic expression and connection.

Highly commended: Mr Jahin Tanvir

Mr Jahin Tanvir is an emerging leader with a wide range of accomplishments for someone of a relatively young age, working across social media and other non-traditional channels to build awareness of the issues facing young people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Highly commended: Bangla Radio Canberra

Bangla Radio Canberra on 2XX FM has been giving voice and support to its community since 1999, playing a key role in promoting the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations across the ACT’s multicultural communities.

Awards winners

Meet the Multicultural Champion Award recipient

Find out what the Multicultural Champion, Marrwah Ahmadzai, had to say about what receiving the award meant to her.

2021 Multicultural Awards Winners

Category 1: ACT Multicultural Individual Champion Award

Winner: Dr Marrwah Ahmadzai

Dr Marrwah Ahmadzai has been a staunch advocate for cultural diversity, providing outstanding support for people to better participate in Canberra’s social, cultural, economic and civic life.

Dr Ahmadzai prides herself in providing empathetic and culturally sensitive care to women from all backgrounds across Canberra. In 2020 was shortlisted for the 2020 Canberra Health Services resident medical officer of the year award. She wrote an article for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) website about her parents' journey leaving Afghanistan as refugees and eventually migrating to Australia to raise awareness of the sacrifices and challenges faced by migrants and refugees when they travel to another country to resettle.

Commendation: Mr Amardeep Singh

Mr Singh advocates for diversity and multiculturalism in the ACT and region, by providing leadership, as President of the FINACT from 2013 to 2017, and promoting religious diversity and harmony, and interfaith dialogue among different spiritual faith traditions in the ACT. He is an active member of the Canberra Interfaith Forum and its current correspondence Secretary.

Category 2:  ACT Community Organisation (Multicultural Champion) Award

Winner: Initiatives for Women in Need Inc (IWiN)

IWiN demonstrated excellence in raising the voices of culturally and linguistically diverse women in the ACT by providing open forums and panel discussions. These forums facilitated free conversation with policy decision makers in the ACT Government and the opportunity to share their views and concerns in a safe and respectful environment.

Commendation: Girls on Bikes

Girls on Bikes is a sustainable program led by volunteers teaching women to learn to ride in a safe and supportive environment. This fosters a sense of community and connectedness for migrant and refugee women in Canberra, supports participants’ independence and encourages healthy lifestyles.

Category 3: ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Winner: Mr Sandipan Mitra

Mr Sandipan demonstrates excellent commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion and advancing the wellbeing of Canberrans through volunteering his time and expertise to services for homeless people, international students and involvement in a range of projects relating to aged care and women’s rights. Sandi’s commitment to his community work is fully voluntary; his contributions to the multicultural community have earned him several awards and accolades in recent years.

Commendation: Mrs Nishi Puri

Mrs Puri works with Blue Door delivering necessities for homeless mens’ shelters through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs Puri advocates mental health awareness, organizes events for communities to stay connected during the pandemic (e.g. a BBQ at Yerrabi Ponds and a special mental health workshop).

Category 4: ACT Multicultural Art, Media or Culture Award

Winner: Ms Jacqui Malins

Ms Jacqui Malins demonstrated excellence in contributing to inclusion of people with a mother tongue other than English and celebration of the diversity of their languages and cultures through performance in poetry and music. She is the founder and coordinator of Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry, which has funding support from the Canberra Academy of Languages.

Commendation: Ms Arianne Tan

Ms Tan has made significant contributions through active involvement in the ACT youth and multicultural community, through community work, fundraising, education, culture and the performing arts. Her efforts have drawn accolades on local and international media. Arianne also received a Highly Commended Young Canberra Citizen of the Year award

Awards winners

Category 1: ACT Multicultural Individual Champion Award

Winner: Mrs Lieta Sauiluma-Duggan
Mrs Sauiluma-Duggan is a strong advocate for diversity and multiculturalism in the ACT and through a number of endeavours provides outstanding support to people to better participate in Canberra’s social, cultural, economic and civic life.

Her radio station work promotes community harmony, cohesion, and inclusion across the ACT.

Commendation: Ms Yelin Hung

Category 2: ACT Community Organisation (Multicultural Champion) Award

Winner: Quality Training in Construction
Quality Training in Construction works to ensure communication and language barriers are overcome so that all employment program participants can learn and obtain essential skill sets. Quality Training has developed and tailored their training program to suit the needs of Canberra’s CALD community including building links with many construction firms willing to recruit new employees through the training program.

Commendation: Born to Shine

Commendation: ACT Council of Social Services and Carers ACT

Category 3: ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Winner: Libraries ACT
Libraries ACT provides excellent services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse background and supports them to participate in Canberra’s social, cultural, economic and civic life through their story time project. Libraries ACT provides opportunity for multicultural communities to showcase their diverse cultural heritage and contributes significantly towards promoting and strengthening community harmony to create a Canberra where diversity is celebrated and embraced.

Commendation: Mr Zouheir Dalati

Category 4: ACT Multicultural Art, Media or Culture Award

Winner: Chinese Voice Program of CMS FM 91.1
The Chinese Voice Program in the CMS Radio Station FM 91.1 has been broadcasting for 20 years. The Program conducts a range of radio interviews across the week and covers many topics. During the COVID19 shutdown, the Program cooperated with professionals including lawyers and financial advisers to provide useful information to listeners on stimulus packages and the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper schemes. The Program also conducted an online cloud concert to bring positive views and stress relief to listeners. The program is not just a voice program but also runs courses in which the community can participate and engage.

Commendation: The Cubby House of Tales team, Canberra Youth Theatre

Awards winners

ACT Multicultural Individual Champion Award

Winner: Mr Harry Oppermann
Commendation: Dr Madhumita Iyengar

ACT Community Organisation (Multicultural Champion) Award

Winner: Legal Aid ACT
Commendation: Charles Weston School

ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion

Winner: Dr Ajoy Kar
Commendation: Dr Sunita Dhindsa

ACT Multicultural Art, Media or Culture Award

Winner: Canberra School of Bollywood Dancing
Commendation: Ms Varaporn (Nim) Osborne

Awards winners

Outstanding Volunteer Award for Services to the Community - Mr Adrian Arulanandam
Organisational Excellence Award for Services to the Community through Social Enterprise, Business, the Public Sector or Education - Canberra Muslim Community
ACT Multicultural Champion of the Year Award - Ms Sarah Mosslar
ACT Multicultural Honour Roll Award - Inducteee: Companion House, led by Director kathy Ragless
Outstanding Excellence Award in the area of Creative Services and Experiences for the Community through Art, Media or Culture - Ms Zsuzsi Sobaslay

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

Awards winners

Business Enterprise Award - Mr Derek Jiang
Community Organisation Award - Ms Lisa Stephan
Education Award - ACT Community Languages Schools Association
Media Award - Rosemarie John and Joseph Ellis
Multicultural Advocate of the Year Award - Mr Lucky Prasad
Multicultural Young Person of the Year Award - Ms Laura Welsh
Public Sector Award - The Environmental Health Unit from the ACT Government’s Health Directorate
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award - Mr Dean Sahu Kahn and Dr Willy Senanayake

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

Page updated: 25 Aug 2023