Australian Affinity Awards

Australian Affinity Awards

Affinity Intercultural Foundation presented its annual Australian Affinity Awards at a gathering in NSW Parliament House on Wednesday, August 3.

Over 160 guests attended, including religious leaders, academics, politicians, educators and various other individuals from differing backgrounds.

The awards recognised the efforts of individuals who actively promote intercultural dialogue and the removal of religious prejudice in the Australian community.

Seven awards were presented at the dinner co-hosted by the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, an organisation founded in 2001 by a group of young Australian Muslims specifically to promote cultural and religious awareness and understanding across the entire Australian community.

The event was co-hosted by Affinity, NSW State Minister for Citizenship & Community and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Victor Dominello, and Labor Party Shadow Attorney General, the Hon. Paul Lynch.

According to Mr Mehmet Saral, Affinity’s President, The Awards recognise individuals for their significant contribution in bringing together Australians, and improving understanding between Australians of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds”.

Notable recipients included:

  • the Rev. Niall Reid, Moderator of Uniting Church Synod of New Sout Wales and the ACT, who was awarded with the Interfaith award;
  • Bishop David Walker, Bishop of Broken Bay Catholic Diocese, an active advocate of Interfaith Dialogue; and
  • Professor Gail Whiteford, Pro Vice-Chancellor Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, for her contribution in the field of academia.

Professor Whiteford also co-hosted the Macquarie University – Affinity organised “Spirit of Anzac” Study Tour of Turkey, where she also gave a lecture at Fatih University in Istanbul.

The media award was presented to Mr Hamish McDonald from the Sydney Morning Herald for his contribution to the field of journalism, seeking balanced and ethical reporting.

The education award was presented to Mr Philip Worrad for his outstanding efforts in promoting education, shaping the views of many students from his school in the NSW town of Orange to eradicate bigotry and foster harmony and respect.

Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammed, a Muslim scholar and head of QK Radio, was awarded with the Community Award.

Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly was awarded in the area of Public Service. His commitment and dedication to serving communities by heading the NSW Police Community Contact group was instrumental in promoting dialogue and understanding.

The keynote address by Professor Kevin Dunn, Head of School of Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney, focused on “The ordinariness of Australian Muslims”. He said, There is no empirical evidence for widespread radicalisation or alienation (of Muslims) … The work of Affinity is a testament to that fact.

Those words of Professor Dunn were stated in an environment where Affinity has been instrumental in setting ground-breaking initiatives such as the Ramadan Iftar dinner. Importantly, many of those listening were eating their first meal since dawn, as the dinner marked the end of the day’s fasting, a practice required by all observing Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

The sharing of a meal is considered in all cultures of the world to be one of the most significant gestures of accord and goodwill.

 

Australian Affinity Awards

 

Muslim Community Promotes Social Integration & Harmony with the Ramadan Breaking-of-the-fast dinner and Harmony Awards

 

 

 

Affinity Intercultural Foundation presented its annual Australian Affinity Awards at a gathering in NSW Parliament House with over 160 guests in attendance which comprises religious leaders, academics, politicians, educators and various other individuals from differing backgrounds on Wednesday, August 3.

These awards recognise the efforts of individuals who actively promote intercultural dialogue and the removal of religious prejudice in the Australian community.

The event was co-hosted by Affinity Intercultural Foundation and Liberals Party NSW State Minister for Citizenship & Community and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs The Hon Victor Dominello MP as well as Labor Party Shadow Attorney General The Hon Paul Lynch MP.

Notable award receivers included the Rev. Niall Reid, Moderator of Uniting Church Synod of NSW & ACT, who was awarded with the Interfaith award; Bishop David Walker, Bishop of Broken Bay Catholic Diocese, as he has been an active advocate of Interfaith Dialogue; and Prof Gail Whiteford, Pro Vice-Chancellor Social Inclusion, Macquarie University for her contribution in the field of academia. Prof Whiteford also co-hosted the Macquarie University – Affinity organised “Spirit of Anzac” Study Tour of Turkey, where she also gave a lecture at Fatih University in Istanbul.

The media award was presented to Mr Hamish McDonald from the SMH for his contribution to the field of journalism, seeking balanced and ethical reporting. The education award was presented to Mr Philip Worrad for his outstanding efforts in promoting education, shaping the views of many students from his school in the NSW town of Orange to eradicate bigotry and foster harmony and respect.

The Muslim community in Australia have been noticeably embracing the importance of integration, interfaith and understanding of the ‘other’ service. Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammed, who is a Muslim scholar and also the head of QK Radio was awarded with the Community Award.

Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly was awarded in the area of Public Service. John’s commitment and dedication to serving communities by heading the NSW Police Community Contact group, has been instrumental in promoting dialogue and understanding.

The keynote address by Professor Kevin Dunn, Head of School of Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney, focused on the theme “The ordinariness of Australian Muslims”. Kevin says, …there is no empirical evidence for widespread radicalisation or alienation (of Muslims)…the work of Affinity is a testament to that fact.

These words by Prof Dunn were stated in an environment where Affinity has been instrumental in setting ground breaking initiatives such as the Ramadan Iftar dinner being held at the people’s parliament of NSW. Importantly, many of those listening were eating their first meal since dawn, as the dinner marked the end of the day’s fasting, a practice required by all observing Muslims during the month of Ramadan. The sharing of a meal is considered in all cultures of the world to be one of the most significant gestures of accord and goodwill.

In all, 7 awards were presented at the dinner co-hosted by the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, an organisation founded in 2001 by a group of young Australian Muslims specifically to promote cultural and religious awareness and understanding across the entire Australian community.

According to Mr Mehmet Saral, Affinity’s President,The Awards recognise individuals for their significant contribution in bringing together Australians, and improving understanding between Australians of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds”.

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