Building Inclusive Communities Awards: winners announced

30 August 2013

The Ethnic Communities Council of NSW (ECC) and Macquarie University yesterday announced the winners of the 2013 Building Inclusive Communities Awards at a special ceremony held in Parliament House, Sydney.

The Building Inclusive Communities Awards recognise and showcase individuals and groups in New South Wales whose work promotes harmony and understanding of others, and makes a significant contribution in helping to build a diverse and tolerant Australia.

“These awards provide a unique platform for groups, individuals and organisations that may not otherwise be recognised for their often extraordinary contributions to our society,” says Professor Gail Whiteford, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Social Inclusion).

“It’s humbling to meet and spend time with people that have come together to serve, work on behalf of, contribute to or represent so many different communities across the State.”

Mr Emanuel Valageorgiou, Chair of the ECC, agrees. “The creativity in how these individuals and groups engage cross culturally with the wider Australian community is inspiring – everything from film making to knitting, creative arts and micro business.”

The Awards are supported by the NSW Government through the Community Relations Commission and SBS.

Premier Barry O’Farrell has supported the awards since their creation in 2011. He says, “The contribution of migrants to our community is outstanding, and awards like this encourage ongoing empowerment of our migrant communities, and recognise their legacy. It’s very appropriate that, in fact, the overall winner of these awards is given The Jim Samios Memorial Award, named for the pioneer of multiculturalism and founding member of the ECC, the late Honourable Jim Samios.”

Awards were presented to seven category winners and one overall winner, with 11 entrants shortlisted across individual contributions, non-government organisations, grass roots volunteer and community groups, government, corporate and youth.

Winners include:

Overall Winner: Jim Samios Memorial Award and joint non-government organisation award: One Parramatta – All Together Now

One Parramatta addresses interpersonal racism among 18-34 year olds in the Parramatta region through a series of seven one-minute short films. An episode was filmed and produced every eight weeks by interviewing passers-by, shoppers and business owners in Parramatta. The films were screened for 12 months (July 2012 – June 2013) at the local cinema as an advertisement prior to feature films, as well as distribution through social media. To date the films have been seen by more than 45,000 people.

Non-government organisation (joint winners): Lakemba Neighbourhood Centre Project – Canterbury City Community Centre

The project includes activities such as: Lakemba Ladies Lounge where women can try a new activity, learn something new, meet other women and relax; Environment@Lakemba, with a focus on reducing littering and household dumping; Women’s Micro Business Program provides women with a Certificate III in Microbusiness including language & literacy support and a local business mentor and free child minding; and the Lakemba Women’s Health Clinic.

Government: Aboriginal Heritage Office

A unique partnership of eight local Councils in northern Sydney working to protect Aboriginal sites and promote Aboriginal history and heritage, the Aboriginal Heritage Office was the first initiative like it in Australia when launched in 2000. The Aboriginal Heritage Office education and training program has gradually expanded to include a full-time Aboriginal Education Officer position, a schools program, guided walks and talks, brochures, a website, and a Museum and Keeping Place, and specialised training for Council staff.

Individual: Epy Djulianti

Djulianti is president of the Indonesian Australian Families Association of NSW. She has actively contributed to the Campelltown and Macarthur communities in a volunteer capacity since 2011, including the establishment of Pelangi Indonesia, an Indonesian Language School Program; an employment and recruitment program and a women’s reproductive health seminar.

Volunteer/Community: Granville Knitting Group – Granville Multicultural Community Centre

Group members share their skills in knitting and crochet even when they don’t have a common language. This openness has created a space where participants feel welcome, accepted and valued for who they are and provides regular opportunities for cross cultural learning, understanding and dialogue.

Youth (joint winners): Justice and Arts Network (JAAN)

(JAAN) is a branch of Mission of Hope Australia and is based in South West Sydney, targeting Muslim youth aged 16 to 26. JAAN is a not-for-profit organisation that uniquely addresses both social justice issues and creative arts. Examples include a monthly panel of prominent and local personalities to discuss current affairs and important issues; bimonthly exhibitions/networking events for local Muslim artists; Women’s Performance Cafe; Muslim Youth Leadership Conference; building capacity (skills and capability) for youth, migrants and refugees; domestic violence and legal rights for women workshop (with Legal Aid).

Youth (joint winners): Special Projects Program – The Loft Youth Arts and Cultural Centre

The Special Projects Program is composed of two strands: projects working with disadvantaged and marginalised young people, and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and the Loft Aboriginal Youth Arts Program. The list of projects is extensive and includes mentoring, arts projects, links with schools and community groups, producing resources to explore ideas of racism and identity, zines, a flashmob, and an Afghan music project. The Aboriginal Youth Arts Program uses cultural camps and heritage site visits as the starting point for re-engaging Aboriginal young people with their cultural heritage.

Highly commended awards were also presented to Randwick City Library Service’s “A Migrant’s Story”, Auburn Centre for Community – A Place of Welcome & Connection, Bringing Us Together – Community Connect Northern Beaches, and Sharing our culture, Sharing our stories – Worimi Aboriginal Elder’s Art Calendar, 2013.

Filed under: Campus news Events

Jim Samios Memorial Award winners One Parramatta with The Honourable Barry O'Farrell MP, Premier of New South Wales

Jim Samios Memorial Award winners One Parramatta with The Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of New South Wales

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