The Andrews Labor Government is honouring the unsung heroes of Victoria who have demonstrated grit and resilience to create positive and lasting impacts for their communities.
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence joined Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen AM at a ceremony honouring the first inductees into Victoria’s Multicultural Honour Roll.
“We are a proud multicultural state, and it is important that we recognise the many grass-roots advocates of our multicultural communities who make outstanding contributions”, Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said.
“The cultural diversity of our state is our strength, and the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll is a celebration of that strength” Minister Spence added.
The Multicultural Honour Roll recognises outstanding community members and organisations who go above and beyond to support, celebrate and advocate for Victoria’s multicultural communities.
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The 29 inductees represent trailblazers, emerging leaders and passionate community members from 19 cultures who support and amplify multicultural or multifaith communities, often voluntarily and without formal position.
“Every day I meet community members and organisations who work tirelessly on behalf of multicultural communities. I am proud to elevate their achievements with this important honour” Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen said.
It is a moment of immense pride for the community. Five of those honoured are from our own community. Those of us honoured as Multicultural Honour Roll inductees are:
Prof. Bianca Brijnath is committed to raising awareness and furthering research on dementia in people from multicultural backgrounds. Her advocacy includes exploring digital technologies to create resources that are free, available 24/7, mobile-optimised, and help multicultural communities navigate services.
Harpreet Singh Kandra
Dr. Harpreet Singh Kandra is a leader in the Sikh community and the driving force behind the opening of the new Sikh temple: Gurdwara Siri Guru Nanak Darbar in Officer in Melbourne’s south-east. He promotes multiculturalism, demonstrates mutual respect and compassion for those in need and champions equal opportunity for all.
Hemant Ganesh Gokhale
Hemant Ganesh Gokhale is a founding member of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria, the Maharashtra Mandal of Victoria, Gujrati Association, and the Hindu Society of Victoria. At the age of 83, he continues to be an active community leader and is involved in numerous community events and activities.
Her leadership in the Telugu Ladies Club has enabled new Telugu speaking women to become more integrated into Australian society. Jaya was instrumental in setting up IndianCare, which serves as a conduit between the Indian community and the service sector in Victoria.
Paul Singh Khumra
Paul Singh Khumra has been working in community services for past 15 years, assisting hundreds of disadvantaged Victorians from multicultural backgrounds. As a Jobs Victoria mentor, he helps people seek sustainable employment with an intersectional lens that is mindful of complex needs and cultural nuance.
“It is our hope that people of all cultural backgrounds can be inspired by the achievements of the first inductees onto Victoria’s Multicultural Honour Roll Chairperson Nguyen added.
The contributions of the 2022 inductees are especially significant, given the vital role they played in keeping our communities safe and connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenging times, inductees were able to support their communities, and represent a generosity of spirit of which Victoria can be proud.
The Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll replaces the Meritorious Service to the Community category of the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s annual Multicultural Awards for Excellence and ensures the social, cultural, and economic benefits of cultural diversity continue to be showcased.
A complete list of all 29 inductees can be found here.