The Minister for Education & Development's Award for Excellence in Languages and Culture is conducted by the Australia Day Council of South Australia and provided by the Multicultural Education Committee on behalf of the Minister for Education. This Award is presented at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony.

Nominees must be

• An Australian citizen
• 24 years or younger
• Nominated by another person or a group:
community organisation, school.


• Commitment to advocacy for a multicultural Australia
• A high degree of competence in more than one language
and culture
• Outstanding qualities, including community leadership
• The ability to operate across cultures.

Nominations for this award are open!

Download the nomination form

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to submit nominations of young people who are working hard to make a difference in their communities. 

The closing date for nominations is Friday 2 December, 2016

Past Winners

The Minister for Education's Award for Excellence in Languages and Culture 2016 - commendation - Murtaza Hussani

 Murtaza and his family fled Afghanistan when he was 5 years old and settled in Australia five years ago. He is passionate about raising awareness about the refugee experience and the challenges and opportunities posed by differences in culture, education, social interaction and language. As a student leader, Murtaza coordinated multiple major fundraisers to benefit refugees including a donation of 700 cans of food for an emergency relief program and has committed a great deal of time to mentoring primary school students. Murtaza is a talented artist and has chosen to study visual arts at University, and has worked with the Australian Refugee Association to co-curate the 2015 Portrait Exhibition as well as contributing his own work towards it. 

The Minister for Education's Award for Excellence in Languages and Culture 2016 - Qasem Bahmanzadah

At just 19 years of age, Qasem has just completed his final year of a Bachelor of Aviation - impressive given his age but more so considering he lost both his parents at age seven before coming to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan with no possessions and no grasp of the English language. Since this time Qasem has been a dedicated student but also given back to assist other refugees, including acting as an Ambassador for the Australian Refugees Association and speaking in a large range of forums to give more understanding to a wide collection of people, some of the challenges refugees face as well as being an active participant in many fundraising activities. 

For more information about this award please contact the Australia Day Council on (08) 8463 5436 or