Nominations open for Humanitarian Awards

NSW Governor Margaret Beazley and Mr Dennis Wilson with STARTTS CEO Jorge Aroche, STARTTS Community Services Coordinator Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward, Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power and recipients of the 2023 NSW Humanitarian Awards.

RECOGNISING the outstanding contributions individuals and organisations make towards a more welcoming and inclusive NSW for refugees, the 2024 NSW Humanitarian Awards are open for nominations until 31 May.

The annual awards are presented by the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) in partnership with the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).

Nambucca RSLAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

The awards acknowledge and celebrate the exceptional contributions made across ten categories: Refugee Community Worker, Refugee Supporter, Education, Youth, Government and Legal, Media, Sport, Rural and Regional, Business and Best Project.

Anyone can nominate an individual, organisation or project for an Award.

STARTTS CEO Jorge Aroche said he is delighted 2024 award nominations are now open.

“These awards are a chance to celebrate the incredible work that is being done across NSW to support refugees and build a stronger, more compassionate state,” he said.

Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power said, “The NSW Humanitarian Awards shine a light on the collective effort it takes to welcome refugees into our communities.

“These awards celebrate the important and exceptional work happening across a wide variety of sectors – from businesses to schools, media outlets to government departments – to ensure refugees can flourish in their new home.”

A local Highly Commended recipient in 2023 was posthumously awarded to Marlene Griffin.

Prior to her death in May 2023, Marlene Griffin was Co-convenor of the Nambucca-Bellingen Rural Australians for Refugees.

Marlene was instrumental in reinvigorating the work of the group to advocate, outreach and fundraise in support of refugees and people seeking asylum on the Mid North Coast.

She was an enthusiastic advocate for the arts that led her to hold positions on the Nambucca Arts Council and the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre, securing grants for its improvement.

Using her own talents in painting she raised funds to support refugees; organising exhibitions and selling her artwork, with all proceeds benefiting the NSW Asylum Seekers Centre.

Today Marlene’s legacy sees a strong community of advocates and leaders carrying on her mission of welcoming people seeking asylum, and refugees to the Australian community.

In the third year of the awards in 2016, Orara High School English/language teacher Alex Riske won the Rural and Regional Award.

Described as a humble, hardworking individual going above and beyond to support students, Alex was noted for his countless hours put into producing two incredible projects in 2012 and 2015 that allowed refugee students’ artistic.

To nominate for the awards, visit

The 2024 recipients will receive their awards at a gala event held on 1 July at Government House, Sydney.


Leave a Reply