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.
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