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The Award for Muslim & non-Muslim Understanding is a new National award launched in 2012, presented by the Australia Day Council of SA & the University of South Australia

Who do you know who helps Muslims and non-Muslims to understand each other?

This award recognises the efforts of individuals and organisations, with any or no religious affiliation, that have done the most to improve understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia. It is part of UniSA's Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding's remit to work towards improving relations between those who are Muslims and those who are not and is a means of celebrating those members of the community who have done the most to improve understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia. 

The award:

  • widely disseminates good practices that make a significant contribution to improving relations between Muslim and non-Muslim people
  • publicly acknowledges and rewards good works and inspirational role models
  • acts as a catalyst for public debate and engagement.
Nominations are now closed for 2015. 

2014 award Recipients

Brad Chilcott Hieu Van Le

Brad Chilcott (left) | Hieu Van Le, Governor of South Australia, and Queensland Eidfest President, Yasmin Khan and Committee Member Dr Rubana Moola (right)

The recipient of the organisation category of the award was the Queensland Eidfest which was established in 2005 with a goal of social inclusion. This annual event is held on the Saturday following the end of Ramadan, and is supported by both the Brisbane City Council and the State Government, and attracts thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims each year to the event. During the event, upwards of 70 stall holders sell food and goods from diverse cultural traditions that share the Islamic faith.

The Queensland Eidfest showcases the complexity, breadth and cultural richness of Muslim Australia. It is an example of how to present a vehicle for intercultural acceptance in an informal setting.

The recipient of the individual category was Pastor Brad Chilcott. Brad is the lead Pastor of the Activate Community in Bowden, South Australia. In April 2011, Brad founded a movement called ‘Welcome to Australia’ designed to give everyday Australians an opportunity to personally and practically engage in the task of cultivating a culture of welcome in their local communities and nation. Welcome to Australia is now a national organisation with branches in 6 cities and a large network of volunteers, partners and more than 80 high-profile ambassadors.

In 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard appointed Brad as a People of Australia Ambassador and he was a state finalist in the Australian of the Year (Local Hero) Awards. He was also recognised with a Governor’s Multicultural Award in the Individual category.

Since 2012, Welcome to Australia has been responsible for the national Walk Together events that now take place in more than 20 cities and towns around Australia on the same day. These involve thousands of people calling for a more inclusive national discourse on asylum seekers and multiculturalism.

You can read Brad’s acceptance speech here.

For more information about these awards, please visit the website 

Any enquiries please contact the Australia Day Council of South Australia on (08) 8463 5436 or adcsa@sa.gov.au