2015 Migration and Settlement Awards

Now in its 3rd year the awards honour individuals and organisations that positively impact on migration and multiculturalism.

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On the field, and off, Ali Faraj uses sport to bring different cultures together.

 

As Community Engagement Manager at the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL club, he helps educate impressionable young people.

 

Mr Faraj is the winner of Case Worker of the Year at the 2015 Australian Migration Settlement Awards.

 

“Growing up in Western Sydney I know that this types of programs that we deliver around nutrition, science, environment, youth mentoring and leadership was one thing that I always desired to be involved in and here now at the club I’ve been given an opportunity working with an elite sport to deliver these programs to young people from the communities I grew up in.”

 

The awards are held at Parliament House in Canberra each year.

 

For the past three years the aim has been to celebrate the work of individuals and organisations supporting migrants to Australia.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says migrants give Australia an “heroic dimension,” praising the winners and nominees.

 

“These awards acknowledge the hard work and the dedication of those who are helping the newest members of our team to become the fullest of participants.”

 

Other award winners include the ACT Women’s Legal Centre for its work helping women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

 

The Australian Football League has been awarded for an ongoing commitment to multicultural engagement.

 

And the Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland has been recognised with a new award for Empowering Women.

 

Resettling in a foreign country is not a seamless exercise and Carla Wilshire from the Migration Council of Australia says it’s important to honour role models.

 

“Takes enormous courage to migrate. You’re putting not only the trust of your own life but the trust of your children’s lives and generations to come in a new country.”

 

Roshni Chherti was a finalist and says as a migrant herself, she knows all too well about the difficulty of settling into a foreign country.

 

“It’s very hard you know to be in a new country where the language is different where everything is different like culturally language and environment, everything is different and I like to help those people who doesn’t have any much knowledge about the things like how to settle well.”

 

More than 200,000 people migrate to Australia each year.

 

About 13,000 are refugees.

 

Nedhal Amir is a refugee who came to Australia in 2005 and says she found it difficult to resettle.

 

But she’s turned her troubles into a dedication to support others to feel at home.

 

“Helping the women, families, men you know all the category of visa because they need support from someone who knows the area well and to help them to find or to focus on their need.”

 

Twenty one individuals and organisations were selected as finalists with a total of eight winners.

 

Former Liberal politician Petro Georgiou has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to multiculturalism.

 

In accepting his award, Mr Georgiou has slammed Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

 

“What we now have is a legacy of over 1500 people who have come under our protection, detained for years on Manus Island and Nauru with no end in sight. Our treatment of these women and children is I believe wrong. And I believe that an increasing number of Australians, once they appreciate what is happening will regard it as unacceptable.”