Recognising Victoria’s Multicultural Heroes

Victorians who have contributed to Victoria’s multicultural successes have been recognised at the 2017 Multicultural Awards for Excellence.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott, Deputy Premier James Merlino and Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau joined hundreds of people at a special ceremony at Government House on Thursday to honour Victoria’s multicultural award winners.

Among the recipients was Pakistani-Australian psychotherapist Batul Gulani, who received the Premier’s Award for Community Harmony for her work with culturally diverse communities.

Minister Scott presented the Multicultural Business Award to NAB for its African Australian Inclusion Program, which has seen more than 300 African-Australians undertake paid traineeships with the bank, the majority of whom have gone on to be permanently employed at NAB or in a related field.

He also presented the Government and Civic Leadership Award to Dental Health Services Victoria for its service to refugees and presented the Media Award to SBS journalist Abby Dinham.

This year, the Multicultural Awards for Excellence also launched the Multicultural Champions program, which supports community members whose work improves intercultural understanding, by providing mentorship and networking opportunities.

Sarah Sabbagh, Deepak Vinayak and Parsu Sharma-Luital were announced as the first three Multicultural Champions, with more recipients to be announced in the near future.

For a full list of the 2017 winners, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott

“Victoria is one of the most multicultural places on earth, and the success of our diversity is in large part thanks to the everyday people and organisations doing wonderful work in their communities.”

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all of the award recipients, and hope this honour encourages them – and others – to continue the important work they are doing to support multiculturalism in Victoria.”