Sydney (Tribune’s Report, 14 March 2021); The Annual Harmony Dinner is the prestigious event of the year organised by Multicultural NSW. This year, it was held last night at the International Convention Centre (IIC) Sydney. The Premier’s Harmony Dinner is a glittering gala event recognising and celebrating the significant contributions made by individuals and organisations in building community harmony within NSW.
The event is attended by the prominent communities’ leaders, media persons, NSW parliamentarians such as Minister Multiculturalism Hon Geoff Lee, Minister Customer Services Hon Victor Dominello, Opposition Leader Jodi Leyanne McKay, The Chair Multiculturalism Dr G. K. Harinath, The CEO Multiculturalism Mr. Joseph La Pesta and around 750 Guests. It was an evening sit down cultural dress or black-tie dinner, featuring incredible special performances. The evening is a true celebration of multiculturalism and community.
Syrian Australian priest, Father Fadi Nemme, who has dedicated his life to serving Arabic speaking communities, has been awarded top honours at the 2021 Premier’s Harmony Dinner.
This annual event is a celebration of the diverse cultures, languages and religions of all citizens in NSW. A highlight of the evening is the awarding of the Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals that recognise outstanding achievements.
This year’s recipient of the prestigious Barker Henley Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal was awarded to Father Fadi Nemme of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said all the award winners have made significant contributions to the community, especially over the last year through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I congratulate all of tonight’s medal recipients for their outstanding service and dedication,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I especially want to recognise the sacrifices you have made over the past year and thank you for the support you have provided to vulnerable members of our community.”
Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee congratulated Father Fadi on his outstanding service to the community, particularly in support of newly arrived refugees and migrants.
“Father Fadi is a devoted community leader who has dedicated himself to spiritual and community service since arriving in Australia 25 years ago,” Mr Lee said.
“He has worked tirelessly over the decades to promote social cohesion, supporting people of all faiths in the Bankstown area.”
Member for Miranda Eleni Petinos praised Father Fadi for his work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to Father Fadi’s leadership, the Church was quick to respond to support the most vulnerable in our community affected by the pandemic with emergency food parcels and relief,” Ms Petinos said.
Father Fadi said he was delighted to be recognized by the NSW Government.
“This medal means a lot to me and my community. This acknowledgement of my service over
many years by the NSW Government is amazing,” Fr Fadi said.
“Harmony for me is working across all faiths and backgrounds to promote our common ground and what unites us all as a community. I am honoured to be the recipient of this medal.”
Being the publisher and Editor-in-Chief Tribune International (Australia) Syed Atiq ul Hassan attended the event. He attended the press conference of Minister Geoff Lee prior to the start of the Harmony Dinner. Mr. Hassan asked questions to the Minister regarding the large multicultural events facing hardship due to COVID 19 pandemic. Later in the function, Mr. Hassan mingled with the dignitaries and shared the ideas of how to further strengthen and promote multicultural activities in New South Wales.
The full list of 2021 Premier’s Multicultural Community Medals recipients include:
- Australian National Maritime Arts and Culture Medal – Ghada Daher-Elmowy
- ADAPS Corporate Business Excellence Medal – Navitas English
- Welcoming Cities Local Government Business Excellence Medal – Tamworth Regional Council
- B1 Group Not for Profit Business Excellence Medal – Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS)
- All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Language Services Medal – Prof Rifaat Ebied
- SBS Lifetime Community Service Medal – Abla Tohamy Kadous
- Settlement Services International NSW Human Rights Medal – Dr Roger Gurr
- Commbank Regional Unity Medal – Miza Torlakovic
- Village Plaza Sports Medal – Bevan Stuart Calvert
- Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Harmony Medal – Rev Fr Fadi Nemme
Highly commended – International Student Water Safety Video
- National Rugby League Youth Medal – Angelica Ojinnaka
Inductees to the Premier’s Multicultural Honour Roll include:
- The late Maria Cheng
- The late John Homeh
- The late Dr Amarjit Singh More OAM