After more than three decades of the Ethnic Business Awards, the Foundation launched on Wednesday with broad community support and the graces of both sides of politics as a platform towards securing the future of the Awards well into the 21st century.
A number of distinguished guests, including the former Federal Coalition Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, former Federal Labor Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Kate Lundy and former Australian Governor-General, Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery all paid tribute to the hard work of Ethnic Business Awards Founder and Chairman, Joseph Assaf AO. Neos Kosmos, as a longtime supporter of the Awards, was one of a few media outlets invited to the launch.
Giving their respective addresses, Kate Lundy mentioned the Awards represented “being a unified society at a time when it’s easy, very easy to be divided,” while Christopher Pyne reaffirmed the position that “nothing has been spared to make sure of its success,” comments all of which were met with applause.
“I’m humbled,” said Mr Assaf, who founded the annually-held Awards back in 1988.
“Society is like an orchestra, different people playing different instruments to produce a symphony, a harmony. This is the family of the awards; the judges, the board members, the nominees…they all together to produce these fantastic awards. Without them there is no harmony.”
Guests watched on as a highlights reel looked back at successive prime ministers giving televised addresses at the Awards over the years, with footage of Australian leaders from Scott Morrison and Julia Gillard to John Howard and Paul Keating.
Mr Assaf, who was awarded the Order of Australia in 2010 for distinguished service to multiculturalism, was keen to renew his own commitment to the Foundation, telling guests that they give him “the courage to continue doing exactly what every migrant has been doing over the last 50 years or more.
“The whole purpose of the Award was to create role models to other migrants.”
With three categories, anyone can nominate an eligible business and businesses can self-nominate via www.ethnicbusinessawards.com. Nominations for this year’s Awards close on 5 August.