31 July 2013

2013 Awards for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding now open

Australians from various cultural backgrounds.Now in their second year, the Awards for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding are uncovering great multicultural success stories across the nation.

Sponsored through UniSA’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding and developed in conjunction with the Australia Day Council of South Australia, the national awards publicly acknowledge and reward initiatives and inspirational role models that foster understanding across faiths and culture.

Nominations for the 2013 awards open on August 1 and will close on September 20.

UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor for Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Pal Ahluwalia says the awards shine light on the positive gains being made across Australia in intercultural understanding.

“Success stories don’t usually make the nightly TV news format, stories about conflict and tension usually takes precedence.

“So these awards are all the more important because they allow us to unearth and showcase the respectful, inclusive and harmonious relationships forged in communities all around the country every day.

“In this way, the awards contribute to developing national social harmony and community cohesion.”

Last year’s winners were AFL footballer Bachar Houli and Exchange Community Centre, which is nestled in the heart of Kelvin Grove Urban Village near the Brisbane CBD.

Houli 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.

The Exchange 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.

“The award has the capacity to extend and enhance the work of the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding,” Prof Ahluwalia says.

“A goal of the Centre is to create greater cultural understanding through a strong program of public engagement, as well as ongoing research and I think the Awards give us a platform to do just that.

“The Awards provide a practical and high-profile means of recognising the individuals and organisations that do so much to break down the walls of ignorance and intolerance in our community.”

More information about the awards and how to nominate is available online

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au 

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