Khadijah Habbouche has won the Premier’s Multicultural Youth Medal announced at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner on Tuesday 1 March 2022 held at the International Convention Centre (ICC), in Darling Harbour, Sydney.

In a crowd of almost 1300 guests, Khadijah stood confidently wearing her medal amongst the other winners of the 2022 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals, and was a beautiful representation of hope that young Australian Muslims bring to this country.

This award, 2022 NSW Rugby League Youth Medal recognises a person under the age of 25 who has helped create, welcome and support inter-cultural connections and understanding between people from diverse backgrounds.

2022 Premier’s Harmony Medal winners. Photo: Mobinah Ahmad

As a young Australian Muslim woman, of Lebanese Palestinian background, Khadijah stands as a confident, passionate and resilient young Australian.

She is an active member of various Youth Advisory Committees, including the Canterbury Bankstown Youth Crew and the Muslim Women Australia Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC).

Mr Dominic Perrottet,
Premier of New South Wales.

The 14-year-old is actively involved in developing social awareness and action amongst young people, and creating a platform for high achievement and a voice for social goodness.

At the same event inductees of the 2022 Multicultural Honour Role were announced naming Eddie Jake OAM, Aziza El Saddiq, Sath Grey and Carla Zampatti,  and the winners of the 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCA) were acknowledged.

Zia Ahmad celebrating his PMCA Lifetime Achievement Award with his family.

Zia Ahmad won the Lifetime Achievement Award at PMCA with the citation,”Currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST, Ziaul Islam Ahmad’s journalistic career has had a significant and long-term impact on the community promoting multiculturalism, global outlook, and unity of mankind. As the founder of many community organisations, and winner of multiple community awards, Ziaul has dedicated almost 50 years to social cohesion, understanding and harmony.”

AMUST together with Jane Jeffes and Hazen Agency also won the PMCA award in the category of Best Use of Digital and Social Media for their project on Recipe for Ramadan, with the citation, “AMUST launched an online event to celebrate Ramadan festivities during COVID-19 event restrictions by engaging with communities on digital and social media. Exploring a new way to engage, Australian Muslims were encouraged to extend a virtual invitation into the homes and lives of others and exchange family stories while enjoying traditional food. The successful campaign was covered by mainstream media including SBS World News, ABC Radio, community online TV, network Clued TV, and Guardian Australia.” 

Winners of the PMCA Best Use of Digital & Social Media award. From left: Zia Ahmad, Mehar Ahmad, Jane Jeffes & Rory Jeffes. Photo: Multicultural NSW.

Khadijah serves as a beautiful representation and role model for those around her to work passionately for your community and contribute into making it a more harmonious place to live, especially for young people.
She uses her voice to express young people’s thought and feelings, particularly for vulnerable communities.
“As long as what I do is done with sincerity authenticity and purpose and I hope this award will demonstrate that young people are capable of contributing wonderful things to the community regardless of their background,” said Khadijah in an exclusive interview with AMUST.
Much like her name sake, Khadijah is an ambitious and brave woman who contributes back to her community, serving the needs of others.

The winner of the 2022 NSW Rugby League Youth Medal is Khadijah Habbouche.

Through her community activism, Khadijah is involved in youth program development, mentoring of young girls aged seven to eleven years old, and establishing community projects and initiatives.
As a SAYIT Youth Group Team Leader, Khadijah facilitates workshops and team building activities, organises events aimed at bringing girls of various backgrounds together to work for the common good, and mentors a group of young girls using culturally and religiously inclusive mental health and leadership strategies.

“Mentoring is a big part of my life and I hope I can still be mentored and receive the support as I contribute to grow and continue to mentor others as well,” said Khadijah.

For the last two years, Khadijah has been an active Canterbury Bankstown Youth Crew Member where she contributes to a team that organises events and initiatives in the Canterbury Bankstown municipality, contributing in planning activities and helping to make the local district a great place for youth of all backgrounds and experiences.

This year, Khadijah has been an instrumental part of the MWA Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC) which she contributed to forming as a result of the issues young people were facing during the extended lockdown, particularly in South West Sydney.

As a member of MYAC Khadijah contributes to discussing youth related and community issues and identifying strategies to address them. Khadijah is passionate about ensuring there are channels of communication that exist that are suitable for CALD young people.

MYAC was established in the midst of lockdown to give young people a voice, allowing them to be heard and to express their opinions on current issues, while giving them the opportunity to put into practise proposed recommendations, with the ultimate aim of assisting young people across communities.
Other community initiatives that Khadijah contributes to have included, publishing tips on surviving lockdown on social media platforms, planning school holiday activities (virtual and face to face), and organising the packing and distribution of gift hampers for young people experiencing domestic and family violence.