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Wyndham City has recognized some of the municipality’s newest and most inspirational business leaders as part of the inaugural Multicultural Entrepreneur Awards. Four of the Wyndham business owners who are recently-arrived migrants were honored at an official event at the Wyndham Civic Centre in Werribee on Friday 8th July. While all of the award winners work in very different fields, they were all recognized for their determination to overcome personal difficulties, their ability to create successful businesses and their contribution to the Wyndham community. The event was held in the presence of Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Helen Kapalos, and Chairperson of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council, Rohini Kappadath.image002

The winners of the inaugural Multicultural Entrepreneur Awards are:
• Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year – Emerging Female
Diksha Khanna – Amazeology Australia

• Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year – Emerging Male
Jacob Thang – Jacob’s Garden Maintenance

• Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year – Established Female
Ta Eh Paw Palay – Tau Meh Pa Kla

• Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year – Established Male
Harpreet Singh Bedi – BDS Autocare

Wyndham City’s Cultural Diversity Portfolio Holder, Cr Gautam Gupta, said all of the winners had inspiring stories to tell.

“Council is extremely proud of the inaugural winners of the Multicultural Entrepreneur Awards and we would like to congratulate them for everything they have achieved,” “Diksha, Jacob, Ta Eh and Harpreet have shown themselves to be excellent business leaders that have contributed a great deal to the broader Wyndham community.” “I was personally moved by the passion and commitment shown by all the nominees. It reminds me of the journey we have all undertaken to make Australia the best place to call. Cr Gupta said the awards were an opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution newly-arrived migrants make to the Wyndham Community.

“Wyndham has a proud history of people coming from all over the world to start new lives here. 25 percent of our residents come from countries where English is not their first language,” Cr Gupta said.

“Council’s own consultation with the community has found that finding and keeping local jobs, and starting and maintaining businesses were some of their key priorities for recently-arrived migrants.”

“In response to this, Council made a specific commitment to support pathways to greater economic participation by members of Wyndham’s diverse communities. That is why we launched these awards.”

“The recipients of the first Multicultural Entrepreneur Awards have demonstrated creativity, innovation, a focus on community and a vision for the future and Council is proud to recognize their impressive work. We hope that one day they may go on to nominate for the prestigious Wyndham Business Awards.”

As part of their award, each of the winners will receive a free two hour business planning consultation, which will help them add to the success they have already achieved. Wyndham City will also host the Community Volunteer Awards on 19 th August and the Wyndham Business Awards on 26th August.

Diksha Khanna established her business Amazeology Australia, which creates personalized marshmallows, macaroons and fortune cookies by printing customized designs on them. After developing a successful business, she now hopes to set up a community service organization to help vulnerable children and their families.

Jacob Thang coordinated the development of a local gardening social enterprise along with his own gardening and landscaping business, Jacob’s Garden Maintenance. A member of the Chin community of Myanmar, a minority community that are persecuted in their native country, Jacob came to Australia as a refugee in 2013. Jacob has used his success to help create employment opportunities for other newly-arrived refugees from Myanmar.

Ta Eh Paw Palay wanted to create her own opportunities after arriving in Australia and has established a successful Asian grocery shop. A member of the Karen communities, Ta Eh is helping future generations by providing local high school students with work experience placements in her store. She hopes to expand her business to include shops in regional Victoria.

Harpreet Singh Bedi arrived in Australia in 2007 and went on to undertake automotive. In 2014 he set up his own business, BDS Autocare, which now services approximately 3,000 cars across Wyndham. Harpreet recently expanded his business by opening a second shop in Williamstown and he has created employment opportunities for other people from multicultural backgrounds.
The inaugural 2016 Multicultural Entrepreneur Awards were a huge success and Wyndham City Council hope for a positive response in the coming future as well.image001