Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Tara Cheyne has announced the winners of the 2021 ACT Multicultural Awards which recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations that make Canberra a more inclusive and welcoming city.
The winners of this year awards are:
Individual Champion: Dr Marrwah Ahmadzai. Dr Ahmadzai is an advocate, writer, doctor, speaker and storyteller who uses her voice to promote diversity and multiculturism in the ACT.
Community Organisation Champion: Initiatives for Women in Need Inc (IWiN). IWiN provides support, advocacy and positive change for culturally and linguistically diverse women and children in the ACT community.
Outstanding Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion: Mr Sandipan Mitra. Mr Mitra 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.
Arts, Media or Culture: Ms Jacqui Malins. Ms Malins is passionate about helping people express themselves in their mother tongue. She founded Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry, a poetry open mic, that celebrates the rich cultures of poetry, storytelling and wordsmithing from around the globe.
“The winners of this year’s awards were selected from a competitive field of Canberrans. I would like to thank all our nominees and winners for their passion and the selfless work they do to support our diverse multicultural community,” said Ms Cheyne.
When announced as the Individual Champion Award winner Dr Marrwah Ahmadzai gave a powerful speech in the presence of her friends, family and members of the multicultural community.
“I owe so much to so many people for being here. The work we’re doing in the multicultural space is so important. I have been discriminated against all my life for being different, but one thing I learnt from that is our difference is our ultimate strength.”
“I think the Canberra multicultural community is amazing and we’re seeing amazing diversity in all fields. To work as a healthcare practitioner in a very multicultural space is incredible.”