New Australian of the Year 2017 is calling for nominations and closing on 19th of December 2016. Before the year ends, let’s review what Gary Lee award winner 2016 has done over the past year.
Gary has been busy embarking on a speaking tour across Australia advocating for diversity in the workplace, multiculturalism issues and highlighting the successes and challenges of international students in Australia. One milestone include presenting alongside the Chancellor of Dūcere and former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard at Melbourne Polytechnic’s inaugural Alumni program in July. He was also invited as a guest speaker at many high profile events across Victoria including the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival ‘Four Seasons’ show and the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Less than one year on, Gary was also recognised for his tireless work introducing new Australians to the nation’s indigenous game with the 2016 Australia Post AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador of the Year award. This pretigeous award knowledges Gary’s commitment to empowering communities through sport by ensuring football remains an accessible, warm and fun environment for people from all walks of life.
“I am truly humbled by the opportunity to enable communities through this amazing sport. Australian football is such a enigma, for a sport predominantly played in one part of the globe, it has such powerful ability to transcend cultural barriers and bring communities together,” Gary said.
Despite a busy schedule, Gary is also an impressive social media influencer who manages corporate communication channels for at least three community organisations and four for his own initiatives.
“The year has been really rewarding because I have had the opportunity to initiate a range of new projects, support a range of community causes and meet many inspirational people; and I hope to continue doing so in coming years” Gary reflects.
On top of everything else, Gary perseveres as an active Ambassador for countless organisations including Welcome to Australia, Bully Zero Australia Foundation, Melbourne Victory Multicultural Program and the Moroccan Children’s Appeal. He also continues to manage the ‘King & Queen of the Melbourne Latin Summer Festival, ‘Miss Latina Australia,’ supports the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, and coordinates his dance crews PoisE’n and PoisE’n Bollypop.
An articulate, likable and entertaining speaker, Gary’s inspiring narrative is one of resilience, courage and giving back. His selfless ambitions are inspirational.
Do you know someone who do wonderful work in their field or their community and deserving of recognition?
Nominations for New Australian of the Year is now closed. New Australian of the Year will be announced in January 2017
New Australian of the Year Award is an intiative by Australia Day Council (Victoria) started in 2014 with the aim to highlight the contributions of migrants and refugees who have arrived in Australia in the past 18 years, and have achieved excellence in their field – e.g. sports, community, arts, business.Past award winners:
2014: Parsuram Sharma-Luital (VIC), refugee from Bhutan currently employed by Victoria Police as a Communities Liaison Officer.
2015: Gabriel Ukuno (QLD), from South Sudan currently employed by Education Queensland as a Communities Liaison Officer.
2016: Gary Lee (VIC), former international student from Malaysia currently employed at City of Melbourne.