20 January 2011—Victoria’s 2011 Australia Day Ambassadors feature champions of cultural diversity

Mr Sam Afra, Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) said the richness of the state’s bustling multicultural heritage was encapsulated perfectly by the diversity of names included in Victorian 2011 Australia Day Ambassadors.

“We have representatives that span generations, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and vocational spheres,” Mr Afra said, “with each one duly recognised for their hard work, talent, and a strong sense of patriotism.”

Recruited from diverse fields such as the arts, sport, science, business, government and entertainment, the 2011 Australia Day Ambassadors include a who’s who of famous identities and inspirational achievers.

Mr Afra paid special congratulations to a number of prominent Victorians who were awarded the honorary title for their tireless work on behalf of migrant and multicultural Victorians.

These included :

  • Mr George Lekakis AO
  • Dr Bulent (Hass) Dellal OAM
  • Ms Marion Lau OAM
  • Ms Wesa Chau
  • Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM
  • Mr Mike Zafiropoulos AM

“Each of these dedicated individuals will give freely of their time in different corners of Victoria to help celebrate Australia’s National Day on 26 January 2011,” Mr Afra said.

“Wesa Chau will be in Glen Waverley while Marion Lau will be in Shepparton.  George Lekakis will be in Ararat while Mike Zafiropoulos will be in Cranbourne.  Hass Dellal will be in Berwick while Stefan Romaniw will be in Flowerdale and Strath Creek,” Mr Afra explained.

“Along with the rest of Victoria’s 2001 Australia Day Ambassadors, we’ll have the entire state covered guaranteeing a vibrant and meaningful occasion.”

Mr Afra said he was grateful to know and work with each of the aforementioned ambassadors, each of whom had been instrumental in helping to promote a positive multicultural agenda, further community harmony and social justice, and reject all forms of discrimination and racism.

“The honour accorded these eminent Victorians is well deserved and confirms that Australia is truly a land of opportunity for all,” Mr Afra said.

For further information, please contact 0421 124 112 or 0417 489 226.


Mr George Lekakis AO

A proud Greek-Australian, George was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through leadership roles in multicultural organisations and to the development and implementation of services to support those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Dr Bulent (Hass) Dellal OAM

The child of Turkish Cypriots, Hass was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for services to Multicultural Organisations, the Arts, and the Community on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 1997, and awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003.

Ms Marion Lau OAM

Having arrived in Australia from Malaysia, Marion was awarded the Order of Australia in 1996 for her work with older Australians and those from Chinese backgrounds, and a Centenary Medal in 2003 for her work in promoting multiculturalism.

Ms Wesa Chau

A migrant from Hong Kong and founder of the Australian Federation of International Students, Wesa is a finalist for Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2010; finalist for Premier’s Community Leadership Award 2010; recipient of Melbourne Awards (Youth) 2005; and recipient of Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria (student welfare) 2006.

Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM

The son of Ukranian migrants, Stefan was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2001 for his contribution to education and the CALD communities and in 2003 received the Centenary Medal.

Mr Mike Zafiropoulos AM

Born in Florina, Greece, Mike  was the General Manager of SBS in Melbourne  between 1995 and 2007 won the very first SBS award, a SAMMY for Best TV Documentary


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