2018 Queensland Multicultural Awards winners

The Queensland Multicultural Awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote a united, harmonious and inclusive Queensland community.

The 2018 theme was, ‘Building a prosperous, fair and harmonious Queensland’.

In 2018, we received a record-breaking 133 award submissions and the calibre of nominees was inspiring.

The 2018 awards winners were announced at the Queensland Multicultural Awards gala lunch, held on Sunday 19 August at the Hilton Hotel, Brisbane.

Ministers Multicultural Award –Winner: Townsville City Council—Construction, Maintenance and Operations

Townsville City Council’s Construction, Maintenance and Operations team supports and promotes the benefits of cultural diversity within the community by supporting State Government Employment programs targeting the full participation of Queenslanders from culturally diverse backgrounds, in particular Work Skills Trainees, funded under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program.

Outstanding Young Achiever – Winner: Nkosana Mafico

Nkosana Mafico is a 23-year-old African Australian change-maker and scholar passionate about advancing humanity through business. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, he moved to Australia with his family when he was 10 years old and grew up in Brisbane. He is the Founder of the Council for Young Africans Living Abroad (CYALA), a leading professional development organisation for young Africans who are aged 18 to 28. He began CYALA to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Africa and to really develop African youth in Australia into future leaders

Outstanding Individual Achiever – Winner: Faiza El-Higzi

Sudanese-born Faiza El-Higzi is an active campaigner for human rights and cultural diversity within the Queensland community. She is described as a ‘bridge builder’ who strengthens community ties by creating spaces for conversations and interactions. Her work on community and government boards are important opportunities to bring attention to community issues and enable discussions that lead to positive outcomes for people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Community – Winner: SBS Radio Mandarin and Embodi Media

SBS Radio Mandarin and emerging Brisbane company Embodi Media, co-founded by journalist Amy Chien-Yu Wang, have recently co-produced a cutting-edge journalism video project in 360-degree view about Brisbane’s annual Festival of Tibet held at the Powerhouse.

Government (local and state) – Winner: Queensland Performing Arts Centre

During the past 12 months, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has delivered a series of inclusive new arts-based programs created in collaboration with people and communities of diverse backgrounds. Including:

  • We All Dance—Enabling people from the Syrian and Bhutanese-Queensland communities to explore dance and performance.
  • Songs of Hope and Healing—Supporting numerous young people from refugee backgrounds to be part of a new 70-voice youth choir that rehearsed across two months at QPAC, hosted by African community leader, Sharon Orapeleng.
  • Brisasia Festival—A partnership that brought ideas, culture, and performances by local Asian-Australians to the mainstage.

Education, training and skills – Winner: Yeronga State High School

Yeronga State High School has been very proactive in advocating for and developing culturally inclusive practices for more than 30 years. Yeronga State High School is one of the most culturally diverse schools in Queensland, with more than 70 cultural groups represented by 64 countries, with 65% of students born oversees and approximately 40% of students being refugees, special humanitarian entrants or seeking asylum. The school has implemented an International Student Program, English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) Program and the entire school community have outstanding outcomes in fostering intercultural alliances and promoting the benefits of cultural diversity.

Multicultural Queensland Ambassador – Winner: Football Queensland

Football Queensland through delivery of the Welcome to the Game program, have progressively built a productive and proactive community collaboration that uses the power of sport in promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in Brisbane and wider areas. Football Queensland has eliminated a number of barriers that limit participation, particularly of recently arrived refugees, people seeking asylum or migrants who do not often consider sport or recreation a priority in the first years of settlement. They have done this by adapting competition fees and payment structures to suit the needs of the participants, organising kick-off times to accommodate teams during the month of Ramadan, and providing additional external support from competition managers, coaches and administrators to assist these groups learn and develop the skills they need to operate in a traditional and formal competition.

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