Main Image: Zimra Hussain and her family were welcomed warmly by both the AFL and wider community after fleeing persecution in Afghanistan.
A 15-year-old AFL player, a deeply committed volunteer organisation, and an Order of Australia Medal recipient are among this year’s winners of the Multicultural Queensland Awards.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Leanne Linard today congratulated the four award winners for their outstanding contributions to creating an inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland.
“This year’s awards categories were refreshed in order to celebrate and recognise contributions from newly arrived Queenslanders, state champions of inclusion and belonging, and exceptional multicultural sector efforts that are innovative and intercultural,” Ms Linard said.
The winners of the 2021 Multicultural Queensland Awards are:
- Outstanding Contribution from a New Queenslander: 15-year-old Zimra Hussain who is on her way to becoming the first woman from a Muslim background to play for the Brisbane Lions AFLW team.
- Multicultural Sector Outstanding Achiever: Habib Jamal, Multicultural Ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia.
- Diversity and Inclusion Champion: Pushing Barriers, a not-for-profit organisation linking refugees to sports opportunities.
- Minister’s Multicultural Award: Beny Bol OAM, President of the Queensland African Communities Council.
“Unfortunately, due to current COVID restrictions we were unable to come together to announce this year’s award winners, but I’m sure we will find a way to celebrate their outstanding efforts at an appropriate time,” Ms Linard said.
“I was delighted to select Beny Bol for the work he has undertaken in the community to break down barriers and encourage communication, participation and greater acceptance of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“I was also very happy to give a Minister’s Highly Commended award to Trish Luckock, Thargomindah State School’s Principal, for her tremendous efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive local community.
“All the winners, and the other 65 high-quality nominations we received for this year’s awards, should be so proud of their efforts – because of their practical actions and engagement they have no doubt helped thousands of new Queenslanders feel supported and welcomed, while contributing to Queensland’s culture and prosperity.”
For more information about the 2021 Multicultural Queensland Awards winners click here.
Minister’s Multicultural Award – Beny Bol OAM2021 Multicultural Queensland Award winners
Beny Bol is President of the Queensland African Communities Council, an umbrella organisation representing more than 63,000 individuals and communities with African heritage across Queensland. Beny’s lead in the community response to ongoing conflicts on Brisbane’s northside in 2020 helped to save lives and reduce tensions by supporting young people to focus on their shared strengths and future opportunities.
Minister’s Highly Commended Award – Trish Luckock, Thargomindah State School
Trish Luckock is the principal at Thargomindah State School located in a tiny remote community of 250 in far south western Queensland. Led by Trish, the school has developed an informal program to assist community members with limited English to expand their skills and become productive and valued members of the community.
Outstanding Contribution from a New Queenslander – Zimra Hussain
Fifteen-year-old Zimra Hussain arrived in Queensland as a refugee from Afghanistan seven years ago, with her older sister and mother. Her love of AFL began when she settled in Toowoomba. Playing for the Wilston Grange Gorillas and state representative teams, Zimra now shares her unique experiences to inspire and motivate more young women to play sports. Zimra’s journey as a refugee and the hardships she has faced have shaped her into a strong, confident and resilient young woman who is very likely to fulfil her dream of becoming the first female from a Muslim background to play for the Brisbane Lions AFLW team.
Multicultural Sector Outstanding Achiever – Habib Jamal
Habib Jamal is the President of the Islamic Council of Queensland, which represents 23 organisations from across the state. Habib has led several innovative projects all designed to unify and support Queensland’s diverse Muslim communities, particularly throughout the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversity and Inclusion Champion – Pushing Barriers
Pushing Barriers is a not-for-profit association which aims to advance and improve the lives and welfare of refugee youth. Run by volunteers, Pushing Barriers links young people from refugee backgrounds, their families and wider community to local sporting clubs, organising transport to games, uniforms, equipment and registration fees. The organisation builds relationships with sports clubs and players so they can better understand the challenges faced by young refugees, learn about their experiences and become more welcoming and inclusive.