Welcoming Australia Medal Recipients 2023

At the Opening Reception for the 2023 Welcoming Australia Symposium on Tuesday 9 May, community leaders from across Australia were awarded for their exceptional contribution to building a welcoming Australia where everyone can belong, contribute and thrive.


The Welcoming Australia Medal recognises exceptional individuals who have made a significant and ongoing contribution to communities where everyone can belong. This award acknowledges the hard work, passion and commitment of a select group of people  who have been instrumental in growing Welcoming Australia as the largest network and movement for advancing social cohesion across the country. 


Welcoming Australia Medal Recipients 

Fahim Khondaker
Fahim has played a crucial role in the Welcoming Australia journey, particularly in Queensland. Fahim first reached out to join the Welcoming Australia movement following a Welcoming Australia-led interfaith campaign in response to an ugly display of Islamophobia in the Weekend Australian in 2014 

Fahim proceeded to volunteer as Walk Together Coordinator for Brisbane, as well as forming a key part of the state team for Queensland, setting the foundations for Welcoming Australia to build into what it is today.  

Fahim’s personal story speaks to his commitment to building welcoming and inclusive communities. 

Marziya Mohammadi
Marziya played an integral role in the story of the Welcoming Centre, as well as influencing the wider Welcoming Australia journey.  

Marziya Mohammadi’s family came to Australia as refugees from Afghanistan when she was a young teenager. Although Marziya learned how to speak English at school, she became concerned about her mother who hadn’t had the same opportunities to learn English, and therefore lacked English skills and found everyday tasks challenging.  Marziya co-created the Welcoming Centre’s English Tea Project – an informal English language class for refugee women to learn, make friends and chat over the familiar experience of sharing tea together.  

Marziya is a tireless advocate for refugees, equality and women, particularly those from Afghanistan. 

Fahim and Marziya join 12 previous recipients who have been recognised for their contribution to a welcoming Australia:

• 2018:
Kate Leaney
Leah Marrone

• 2021:
Alipate Carlisle
Arefa Hassani
Arian Rezaei
Fida Hussain
Kerrin Benson AM
Leila Stennet
Manal Younus
Mariam Veiszadeh
Mohammad Al-Khafaji
Violet Roumeliotis AM


1 Comment

  • Michaela says:

    I would like to find out how pubic libraries can become recognised as welcoming centres. On a daily basis refugees, homeless people, international students, victims of violence, unemployed, people new to Australia, people simply disconnected from society come to libraries to make connections and to thrive.

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