State Government of Queensland

06/24/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/23/2019 23:54

Toowoomba achievers announced as finalists for Multicultural Queensland Awards

A local final year university student, the Mulberry Project and the Toowoomba Regional Council have all been recognised for their outstanding work by being named as finalists of the 2019 Multicultural Queensland Awards.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he was excited by the quality of each of the 23 statewide finalists, selected across the seven categories of Young Achiever, Individual Achiever, Community, Business, Government, Media, and Education, Training and Skills.

'Some of these individuals and organisations have made a positive impact, over many months and years in helping Queensland become more welcoming and inclusive,' Mr Hinchliffe said.

'Each of the finalists absolutely deserves this recognition for their wonderful initiatives.

'The theme for Multicultural Queensland Month is 'We All Belong', and the work carried out by these finalists has helped create that sense of belonging here in Queensland in many different ways.

'It's vital we publicly recognise the contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote an inclusive, harmonious and united community. These awards are designed to do just that.'

Ms Erin O'Shannessy is a finalist in the Individual Achiever category. She is a university student working as an English tutor for a unique language pilot program for Yazidis in Toowoomba, called Yazda English at Home. She learned the Yazidi language Kurdish-Kurmanji, to help dissolve social barriers and role-model the concept of learning to vulnerable clients.

The Mulberry Project is a finalist in the Community category. This is a pilot social enterprise initiative that helps migrant communities overcome barriers to economic and social participation where participants are given ideas, insights and expertise to develop market gardens, from visiting horticulture and social enterprise specialists, as well as the opportunity to socialise with other families from a broad variety of diverse backgrounds.

The Toowoomba Regional Council is a finalist in the Government category. The Council is leading the way to increase the participation of diverse groups in social and economic opportunities with a dedicated Multicultural Officer, Cultural Diversity Training for all staff, pro-active and welcoming policies for refugees and migrants seeking a better life in Queensland and engaging at a grassroots level to work with the community to achieve better outcomes for diverse Queenslanders.

Tambo Teddies is a Business finalist. The company created a Regional Sewing Hub in Toowoomba, 750km from Tambo, and work in partnership with Multicultural Development Australia to provide employment opportunities for newly arrived refugees.

'Tambo Teddies has a long history creating employment and boosting the economy of the local community,' Mr Hinchliffe said.

'When the wool prices crashed back in 1992, the Tambo Teddies were born to support the wool industry, create employment and encourage tourists.'

The winners will be announced during Multicultural Queensland Month at a ceremony on 30 August 2019 at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.

For the full list of finalists and to buy tickets to the awards ceremony visit: www.qld.gov.au/MQA

Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548