Seven outstanding individuals and organisations were honoured last night for their work assisting new migrants successfully settle in the community at the inaugural 2013 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards at Parliament House, Canberra.
The winners were selected from among 24 finalists across the categories: Case Worker of the Year, Settlement Innovation, Business Inclusion, Sports Leadership, Journalism Excellence, Diversity and the Law, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Prime Minister, The Honourable Julia Gillard MP, was the keynote speaker at the gala dinner hosted by the Migration Council of Australia (MCA), which brought together business, journalists and the community sector to recognise the remarkable achievements of new migrants and those who support them to build a more inclusive and diverse Australia.
CEO of MCA, Carla Wilshire, said the calibre of the finalists and award recipients highlighted the impressive work being undertaken by individuals, support organisations and national companies to empower new migrants.
“The award winners reflect the depth of support available to new migrants when they arrive in Australia to help them successfully settle in the community,” Ms Wilshire said.
“At a national level, it’s important to recognise the important work being undertaken across Australia to support new migrants.
“Australia is a migration nation and the prosperity of our nation depends on the strength of our settlement services and the willingness of community groups, the legal sectors, the media and business to assist new migrants transition to their new life.”
Well-renowned Australian comedian Rob Sitch was the Master of Ceremonies at the award ceremony which was attended by leaders in the business, government, sport, academia, media and community.
Award winners include:
Settlement Innovation Award
Diversitat (VIC) for the Northern Community Hub which is a multipurpose community and education facility which aims to provide support services and training to refugees and migrants in the Geelong region.
Case Worker of the Year Award
Say Htoo Eh Maero (Wyndham Community and Education Centre – VIC) for her focus as a settlement workers on the welfare of new arrivals by providing a “whole-of-person” approach to empower new migrants.
Business Inclusion Award
Luv-a-Duck for its work training and employing over 60 Karen refugees through engagement with the community, AMES and local service providers to ensure workers connected with their neighbours and settled in a welcoming environment.
Sports Leadership Award
North Melbourne Football Club for The Huddle facility which provides a range of programs and teaching activities to assist and engage young people.
Journalism Excellence Award
Go Back to Where You Came From Series 2 which followed six prominent Australians to challenge their strong views on asylum seekers.
Diversity and the Law Award
Legal Services Commission of South Australia for the Migrant Information Legal Education (MILE) program which engages with community groups, settlement services, education, health, housing and parenting organisations.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Hon Sir James Gobbo for his contribution to migration and settlement.