Posted on 17. Jun, 2010 in Victoria

Local residents were amongst twenty refugees who have made remarkable contributions to Victoria were tonight added to the Victorian Refugee Recognition Record (VRRR) at a ceremony during Refugee Week.

Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs James Merlino congratulated the new Victorians at a ceremony held at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Melbourne.

“The Victorian Refugee Recognition Record is a thank you for the hard, and often unrecognised, work done by many people that help better the lives of others,” Mr Merlino said. 

“I congratulate each and every recipient who has honoured the legacy of Victoria’s refugee communities and the legacy of all migrants to our country who have worked hard to get here and have contributed so much to the social and economic fabric of our community.”

Mr Merlino said the 20 nominated recipients had been recognised for overcoming personal hardship to help others through their involvement in voluntary programs and community support.

Recipients of the VRRR undertook projects including the running of youth camps, facilitating Iraqi men’s discussion groups on their experiences, running a mentoring program at Flemington Neighbourhood House, helping new arrivals settle into life in Australia.

Mr Merlino said the latest additions to the VRRR included:

  • Hipolito Acosta – El Salvador (Oak Park)
  • Anwar Alishek – Eritrea (Albanvale)
  • Akier Manut Nyarnhom – Sudan (Castlemaine)
  • Hussam Al-Mugotir – Iraq (Shepparton)
  • Danielle Charak – Belgium (North Caulfield)
  • Saw Ananias Ganemy Kunoo – Karen (Truganina)
  • Thataw Kunoo – Karen (Truganina)
  • Hre Ling – Burma (Mooroolbark)
  • Adem Osman Malekin – Eritrea (Flemington)
  • Hania Mayer – Poland (Caulfield)
  • Kyaw Soemoe – Burma (Springvale)
  • Shafiq Monis – Afghanistan (Rosebud)
  • Bon Nguyen – Vietnam (Yarraville)
  • Giang Nguyen – Vietnam (West Footscray)
  • Phong Nguyen – Vietnam (Forrest Hill)
  • Bogdan Platek – Poland (Ferntree Gully)
  • Ridha Salman – Iraq (Fawkner)
  • Zamera Shariffie – Afghanistan (Dandenong)
  • Rashidi Sumaili – Congo (Shepparton)
  • Noel Surur – Sudan (Noble Park)


Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and to celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

This year’s theme is Freedom from Fear, which draws attention not just to the fear that compels refugees to leave their home country, but also the relief they feel when they are welcomed into another country.

Mr Merlino said the Brumby Labor Government has marked Refugee Week through the VRRR and has now recognised 157 individuals from refugee backgrounds who have made a significant contribution to community harmony in Victoria since 2004.  

The Victorian Government invited photography students from RMIT to create a photographic record of the 20 recipients. This project connects students with the community and helps to share the story of each of the VRRR recipients with the wider Victorian community.

The project also allows students to showcase their photography skills and gain practical skills in a community setting.  The exhibition will be on display on the ground floor of the QV Women’s Centre until 15 July.

The Victorian Government is proud to support the delivery of events during Refugee Week by contributing $20,000 funding.

For more information about the award winners contact the Victorian Multicultural Commission on 9651 0648 or visit

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