Greater Bendigo City Council Mayor, Councillor Rod Fyffe, congratulated local resident Abhishek Awasthi on being recognised for actively supporting cultural diversity and making a real impact on promoting community harmony.
The Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2015 Ambassador Award was presented by the Hon Linda Dessau, Governor of Victoria, at Government House.
Councillor Fyffe described Mr Awasthi’s commitment to multiculturalism as inspiring.
“On behalf of Greater Bendigo City Council and the community, I congratulate Abhishek Awasthi for his important work in building a harmonious community by promoting multiculturalism in the Greater Bendigo region.”
Head of Campus at La Trobe University, Bendigo, Robert Stephenson said:
“Abhishek’s own experiences in developing his networks and following his passions since moving to Bendigo not only provides him with some particular insights and skills, but also identifies him as a role model for all of us through his involvement and contribution to this community.”
Mr Awasthi is a Committee member of the City of Greater Bendigo’s Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan Community Reference Group.
He was a core part of the New and Emerging Communities Leadership Program (NECLP) Advisory Working Group. The program provided participants with skills and knowledge on how to communicate with authenticity, break down cultural barriers within the community and create effective networks.
As the Student Engagement Officer at La Trobe University, Bendigo, he is credited for designing and delivering high impact programs that complement students’ formal learning experiences and enrich Victoria as a welcoming, diverse, cohesive and inclusive place.
Mr Awasthi established a tutoring program for refugee students from Karen community in Years 8–12 in which La Trobe University students volunteered as tutors in Mathematics and Science. He initiated a team of La Trobe University students who worked with local Chinese students to organise a celebratory mid-autumn festival dinner.
Mr Awasthi said: “I love what I do and I do it by empowering innovation, engaging inspiration and encouraging ideas.
“Cultural diversity benefits in all aspects of our businesses, sports and recreation groups, and society in general. It should be high on agenda as we work towards a more inclusive, cohesive and culturally diverse Bendigo, Victoria and Australia.
“Cultural diversity is the array of differences, among groups of people with definable and unique cultural backgrounds, and these differences enrich our communities.
“I am happy, honoured and excited to be receiving the Ambassador Award but more importantly it is recognition of our City of Greater Bendigo community and its spirit.”