Multicultural awards recognise Victoria’s diversity heroes


The outstanding achievements of Victoria’s newest Diversity Heroes were honoured in Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2016 in a special ceremony held at Government House on October 13.

Now in its 15th year, the annual awards acknowledge and celebrate people and organisations who have made valuable contributions to multicultural communities in Victoria through fields such as philanthropy, advocacy, leadership, arts, health, education, media and innovation.

Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Helen Kapalos said the awards recognise Victorians who champion cultural diversity.

“Each recipient goes above and beyond to support our multicultural community and make a difference in the lives of others. And they do so with unwavering passion and dedication, embodying what it means to be a Diversity Hero,“ said Kapalos.

Coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the 2016 awards received more than 170 nominations across 12 categories, including two new categories – the Youth Award and the Award for Community Innovation.

A total of 19 awards were presented at the ceremony with a further 77 certificates of merit distributed before the event.

Youth Award recipient Monica Forson said she was honoured to be recognised for her commitment to advocacy and community development initiatives for African Australian young people.

“To be acknowledged for my contributions is humbling and also reaffirms my belief that I’m doing purposeful work. I want to make a positive change to inspire, and work directly with, other young people to address issues, develop meaningful solutions, and change the perceptions society holds about youth,“ added Forson.

Kapalos presented the awards alongside Anthony Howard QC, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon. Robin Scott, Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Natalie Hutchins, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley MP and Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Graham Ashton AM.

For a full list of certificate recipients and more information about the award recipients and categories, please visit