Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding

MnM Award

This award recognises the efforts of individuals and organisations, with any or no religious affiliation, that have done the most to improve understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia. It was developed in 2012 in conjunction with the Australia Day Council of SA. It is part of the centre’s remit to work towards improving relations between those who are Muslims and those who are not and is a means of celebrating those members of the community who have done the most to improve understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia.

The award:

  • widely disseminates good practices that make a significant contribution to improving relations between Muslim and non-Muslim people
  • publicly acknowledges and rewards good works and inspirational role models
  • acts as a catalyst for public debate and engagement.

Our hope is that the award will contribute to developing national social harmony and community cohesion.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

2013 award recipients

 Heather KirkpatrickHobart filmmaker Heather Kirkpatrick was awarded the MnM Award 2013 in the individual category for her film Mary meets Mohammad, which documents the transition in one woman’s life from prejudice and mistrust to understanding and friendship. Through the key protagonists, Mary, an older Christian Australian woman, and Mohammad, a young Muslim asylum seeker in detention, we see an evolution of understanding built through conversation, kindness, patience and experience. The film comes with a study guide for use in Australian schools, providing an opportunity to enrich students’ understanding about the reasons why asylum seekers come to Australia and what it means to be Muslim.

The winner in the organisation category is the Muslim Women’s Association of South Australia. Established in 1993, the association has been working to improve understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities for 20 years. Outstanding programs run by the association include the You Will Achieve program, a special speaking circuit of Adelaide schools that aims to build understanding and inspire achievement. This association also works within the community to support families, runs conferences around key issues of misunderstanding including Sharia law, and works to debunk stereotypes about Muslim women.

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2012 award recipients

2012 Award for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding Recipients

The recipients of the inaugural Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding were:

Individual: Bachar Houli, who was recognised for his work as an AFL multicultural ambassador and has been credited with tremendously increasing awareness about his religion among AFL, AFL clubs and the mainstream community.

You can read more about Bachar's activities on his website.

Organisation: Exchange Community Centre, which is nestled in the heart of Kelvin Grove Urban Village some 2.5 km from the Brisbane CBD. The centre opened in 2009 and, in response to a growing representation of Muslim people in the neighbourhood, worked to develop services and programs that encourage community engagement, promote health and well-being, and reduce social isolation.

More information about the Exchange Community Centre is available at its website.

About the Australia Day Council of South Australia

Award for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding

The Australia Day Council of South Australia (ADCSA) is an independent, non-profit, membership based association. Funding and support comes from the Australian Government (via the National Australia Day Council), the Government of South Australia, our membership base (including all Local Councils, Corporate Club and Individual Members), sponsorships, grants, merchandise sales and partnerships with like-minded organisations.

For further information about this award,
please contact the Australia Day Council of SA:
Phone: 08 8463 5436

Areas of study and research

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