Founded in 1988 by Joseph Assaf AM, the Ethnic Business Awards are Australia’s longest running national business awards program, celebrating diversity and multiculturalism, and the achievements of migrants, who come to Australia with a “suitcase full of dreams”; and whose creation of new jobs, wealth and ideas, have contributed to cementing the harmony of multicultural Australia. Their ingenious and enterprising characters contribute greatly to the country’s business and social landscape, and it is the goal of the Ethnic Business Awards to celebrate their journey.
Being a migrant himself, Assaf, a Lebanese born Australian, who has been dubbed the “father of multiculturalism” in Australia, launched the awards program with an aim to “recognise and reward the contributions of migrants to the Australian economy.”
In 2010, the “Indigenous in Business” category was created to recognise the “descendants of those first Australians – the traditional owners of the land.”
In 2013, the Ethnic Business Awards celebrated 25 years of honouring the success and contribution of migrants to Australia’s business and social landscape, by reconnecting with the winners and finalists of the past 24 years through a special “where are they now?” project.
The annually held Ethnic Business Awards are televised nationally to every State and Territory across Australia, and are the country’s longest running business award on television.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Ethnic Business Awards, which, for twenty-seven years now, have celebrated the achievements of Migrants in Business here in Australia.
For the last six of those twenty-seven years, we have also recognised and applauded the achievements of Indigenous Australians as an integral part of our celebrations.
The incorporation of an Indigenous Business category was an initiative that some found surprising. But, when you think about it, we are all ‘ethnic’ in our individual ways and, in a sense, are all migrants – it is just that our Indigenous brothers had arrived here some thousands of years before we did.
This isn’t a flippant observation but, rather, a statement about the commonalities we share as human beings. We share other things, too, through the EBA. Just as our continued acknowledgement of success in migrant business has generated further migrant success through the creation of role models, so, in six years, has the recognition of Indigenous enterprise generated role models, growth, and aspirations in Indigenous communities, nationwide. That notion is vividly illustrated by the fact that, this year, over forty percent of our seven hundred nominations have come from Indigenous businesses.
I’m proud to welcome you to celebrate, in a spirit of inclusiveness and in shared pride, some outstanding achievements by our wonderful nominees – in all categories.
Since 1988, the Ethnic Business Awards have been honoring the success of migrant contributions for decades. As Australia’s longest running business awards, the Ethnic Business Awards continue to recognise and reward the valuable and innovative contributions migrants have made to Australian business and the economy.
To further its acknowledgments, the EBA added the “Indigenous in Business” category in 2010 to recognise the “descendants of those first Australians – the traditional owners of the land.” Then, in 2013, the EBA celebrated 25 years of honouring the success and contribution of migrants to Australia’s business and social landscape, by reconnecting with the winners and finalists of the past 24 years through a special “where are they now?” project.
Since the beginning of the Awards journey, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has sponsored the Ethnic Business Awards, and that sponsorship was exclusive until the year 2000. The NAB is still a major founding sponsor, and has been joined over the years by a multitude of other corporate sponsors, including Singapore Airlines, Gulf Air, Emirates, China Southern Airlines, Virgin Australia and MBF, along with various Government Departments, including the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Austrade and Centrelink.
The EBA have also received enormous support from various media outlets, which have provided the awards with substantial national and international exposure. These include SBS Television, Australian Network, Aurora Community Channel, El Telegraph (Arabic), The Sydney Korean Herald, Chieu Duong Vietnamese Daily, Sing Tao Daily Chinese Newspaper, Indian Link, Neos Kosmos (Greek) and the 1688 Chinese Newspaper Group.