The Multicultural Council of NSW (MCC NSW) in conjunction with The Bayside Chamber of Commerce presented excellence awards for business and community services at a gala dinner held  on Friday 23 November at Red Rose Function Centre at Rockdale.

The awards were presented to individual and organizations who have contributed to Multiculturalism and harmony in our society and in recognition of those who work hard to bring people together from diverse backgrounds fostering multiculturalism.

Aziz Akbar with his award.

Mr Aziz Akbar OAM from Ethnic Communities Council and a past President of Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair (MEFF) received an excellence award for his longtime services rendered to the multicultural community.

Zia Ahmad receiving his award.

Mr Zia Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST and a trustee of MEFF and Islamic Foundation for Education & Welfare (IFEW) was presented with the excellence award for his services to the multicultural community in various capacities.

Ms Annie Rogers, Executive Director of Sydney Pacifica received the award for providing excellent services in helping with education and employment for young people.

Annie Rogers with her award.

Other award recipients included to Paul Huy Nguyen, William Luong, James Leung, Steven Liang who were recipients of the Community Service Awards and Zhijun Feng, a recipient of the Emerging Business Award.

The fundraising dinner was attended by a large number of guests from diverse backgrounds who were entertained by various multicultural performances on the night together with speeches and messages of support from politicians, business leaders and community representatives.

The event was attended by a number of politicians from local and state levels including Mr Chris Minns, Member for Kogarah, Mr Steve Kamper, Member for Rockdale and Mr Marke Coure, Member for Oatley.

Special invited guests included Dr Peter Manning, a veteran journalist and currently Adjunct Professor, UTS, Mr Majed Hawatt, Managing Director, Global Projects Engineers, Mrs Mehar Ahmad, President, Seena Inc and co-founder of MEFF, Mr D Zafar Ahmed, Metro Strata Management, Dr Rohitas Batta, Gandhi Peace Centre, , Loc Trinh & Jessica Billimoria from Melbourne’s CulturalVerse and Leck Keong Koon & Angela, guests from Malaysia.

Leaders of the Community present were Vietnamese community leaders Paul Huy Nguyen and  Dr Peter, Korean community leaders William Seung and Agnes Shim, Annie Rogers  representing South Pacific Islander community, Najla Turk & Steve Kassem  representing the Lebanese community, Mark Franklin  representing the Anglo-Celtic community, Zia Ahmad from the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST), and the Chinese community leaders William Luong (formerly CASS), Mark Yuan (ICEAAI), Zehua Yuan, Dickson Mak, Maria Chan, Anita Yeung, Maggie Wu, Kingsley Liu and Daphne Lowe Kelly (all from CCCA).

The lively program was started by MCs Peter Ha and Najla Turk and included addresses by hosts and guest speakers as well as a number of performances by a diverse group of multicultural song and dance groups.

The Chair of MCC NSW and National President of CCCA, Dr Anthony Pun OAM during his address emphasised the role of MCC NSW as the advocate for the interests of NSW multicultural communities and urged the community to give their votes to those politicians who are empathetic to the needs of Multicultural Australia.

Mr David Dawson, Chair of Bayside Chamber recounted the migrant story and told of his long association with the diverse Australian community living in harmony and with an appreciation of each other’s cultures.

Vice-President of CCCA Maria Chan sent a message of congratulations to the winners of Community Services and Business Awards recipients and added: “Keep up the good work”.

The vote of thanks was given to the organisers and hosts to a most successful program including Mr Farid Ahmed, Secretary MCCNSW/Bayside Chamber, Annie Rogers and Dickson Mark for stage managing the event.