Premier Steven Marshall has congratulated the sixteen award winners of the Governor’s Multicultural Award ceremony held this morning.
The awards were presented by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, during a ceremony at Government House this morning in front of 400 guests.
Premier Marshall said that the annual celebration was an opportunity to thank the people who have demonstrated generosity, passion and dedication to advancing our culturally diverse society.
“I congratulate all the award winners, finalists and nominees, who often go above and beyond to help our culturally diverse communities and South Australia’s multiculturalism thrive,” said Premier Marshall.
“It is fantastic to see so many individuals and organisations play key roles in raising awareness of the countless benefits of cultural diversity to our state, and I encourage them to continue their great work.”
The winners were chosen from 69 nominations across the 12 award categories, including Arts and Culture, Community Sector, Economic Development, Family Safety, Volunteer, Senior Volunteer, Youth, and Outstanding Individual Achievement.
Quotes attributable to His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Governor’s Multicultural Awards, which are held each year as part of the Celebration of Cultural Diversity at Government House.
I am very proud of how these awards have celebrated the achievements of many outstanding South Australian individuals and organisations, from all walks of life, for a decade.
These winners have made a significant contribution to raising awareness of the many benefits of cultural diversity to our state.
Arts and Culture – Individual
Mr Fahim Hashimy
• Mr Hashimy has shown great drive as the director of the Ghan International Film Festival and has done a variety of community, film and television work promoting understanding of Afghan culture in Australia.
Arts and culture – Organisation
Indofest – Adelaide 2017
• For the past 10 years, Indofest has showcased and promoted the diversity of Indonesian culture to South Australia.
Community sector – Individual (joint winners)
Mr Deepak Bhardwaj
• Mr Bhardwaj has established a multicultural sporting hub, which promotes integrating children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds into local AFL and cricket clubs.
Mr Kamal Dahal
• Mr Dahal has been a driving force in the Bhutanese Australian Association of SA, which has nearly 3,000 members, and volunteers for Salisbury’s New Arrival Support program.
Community sector – Organisation
Ahmadiyya Muslim Association SA
• Ahmadiyya developed a Coffee and Islam campaign, to promote awareness of the Muslim faith and increase understanding between communities. The association also supports a range of community initiatives, including donating food to people sleeping rough, Clean Up Australia Day, National Tree Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and the Red Cross Appeal.
Ms Rhiannon Elston
• Ms Elston is the South Australian correspondent for SBS. She has presented a unique view on stories across the state, including the flood-stricken Vietnamese farmers in Virginia, a Hazara chief and volunteer from Naracoorte, and the remote Koonibba Football Club near Ceduna.
• Spotless has proactively employed, supported and mentored around 50 refugees, and stands out as a national example of an organisation that is making a difference in overcoming racism and discrimination.
Department for Child Protection
• The Multicultural Community Engagement Team within the Department for Child Protection has built important bonds with culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, families and communities, and provided expert advice on cultural issues to the Department for Child Protection, Department of Health, and South Australia Police.
Dr Nayana Parange
• Dr Parange works in antenatal ultrasound and is passionate about improving pregnancy outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities. Her volunteering efforts include leading ultrasound outreach programs in developing countries such as India, Ghana, Indonesia, PNG, Samoa, and Cambodia.
Mr Kruno Batrac
• Mr Batrac has been pivotal in leading the Croatian Club Management Committee, and has been involved in a range of fundraising drives during the Croatian Homeland War, to aid refugees coming to Australia.
Mr Vladas Lazauskas
• Mr Lazauskas has volunteered with Amber Aged Care for 25 years, providing support to the residents and maintenance services, helping the Lithuanian residents to feel at home.
Youth – Individual
Mr Jemal Mussa
• Mr Mussa is a volunteer soccer coach for the Oromo (Ethiopian) community, and a mentor for young homeless people. He is also fundraising for soccer equipment and a soccer tournament for refugees in camps in Africa.
Aged care – Individual
Dr Meera Goel
• Dr Goel provides cultural competency training to her nursing and caring staff, and is passionate about understanding the cultural and religious needs of individuals at a time when they are vulnerable, physically limited, and trying to re-experience their original culture.
Aged care – Organisation
• Helping Hand Aged Care
• The Centre for Languages, University of South Australia
• Southern Cross Care SA/NT
• This three-way partnership between Helping Hand, UniSA and Southern Cross Care has developed a new intercultural approach to training in aged care, in response to the significant increase in cultural and linguistic diversity amongst the elderly and the workforce caring for them.
Family safety – Individual
Ms Nagita Maureen Kaggwa
• Ms Kaggwa volunteers with a range of refugee support organisations and, as part of her role within the Department for Child Protection, has helped develop a policy tool to support children of diverse cultural backgrounds in state care, in response to the Nyland Royal Commission.
Economic development organisation
Community Corporate Pty Ltd
• Community Corporate has demonstrated a strong commitment to culturally and linguistically diverse workforce recruitment strategies. Community Corporate has also established the SA Small Business Expo, provides information to support migrants in their small business endeavours, and has developed pre-employment training programs for people from diverse backgrounds.
Outstanding individual achievement
Mr Keyvan Abak
• Mr Abak left Iran and came to Australia on his own at the age of 15, to escape persecution for being a member of the Sabian Mandaean community. While at school, Mr Abak began working with other young people, many of whom had lost parents and relatives, to help settle them in Australia. He developed the African and Middle Eastern Young People’s Program, which connects young refugees with their community. He works with Caucasian students to help them understand the issues facing African students, and assists young Indigenous people who have experienced difficulties in their lives. Mr Abak has received numerous accolades in recognition of his extensive work, including the Leadership Excellence Award in 2012, the Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassadorship and White Ribbon Ambassadorship.