Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Migrant and Indigenous entrepreneurs once again recognised

The Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells welcomed the recognition of migrant contributions to Australia at the annual Ethnic Business Awards to be held in Adelaide on Friday.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the 27th Annual Ethnic Business Awards, the country’s longest-running national business awards programme, acknowledged the achievements of Australia’s migrant and Indigenous entrepreneurs and the valuable and innovative contribution they make to Australian business and to the Australian economy.

“These awards celebrate Australia’s diverse and multicultural society, and the achievements of migrants, many of whom have come to Australia with a ‘suitcase full of dreams’,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.

“These success stories, and there are so many of them, all add up to the big success story of Australia as a migrant nation.

“We are now one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth and one of the most socially cohesive. Almost half of all Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was.”

Among the finalists is Victorian Christos Partsioglou who, as an 11-year-old, arrived in Australia from Greece with one suitcase for a family of five. Hard work and passion propelled him to success in the creation of desserts and chocolates.

Another finalist is Sidney Rusca from Darwin. His Indigenous-owned and operated earthmoving company now has a 300-strong workforce.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the awards draw attention to the many and significant contributions migrants, Indigenous Australians and their families make to Australia.

“Our productive diversity makes direct contributions to our economy, to our communities and to our lives,” she said.

“The Australian Government recognises the potential of our new migrants to contribute to the success and prosperity of Australian businesses and our economy and provides a range of services to assist new arrivals to realise their full potential. These include Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) and the Adult Migrant English Language Program (AMEP).

“The Government also provides advice and support through the website, to help Australia businesses to innovate, grow and succeed,” she said.

“I look forward to again attending the Awards which will be held in Adelaide on Friday and I congratulate all nominees for their successes in enriching their businesses, their lives and our country.”