27 September 2021

Nominations are now open for the inaugural Australia for UNHCR – SBS Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition celebrating the contribution of refugees who are helping shine a light on the situation of forcibly displaced people through their work or initiatives in the arts, sports or media.

The Award was established in partnership with SBS, in commemoration of Les Murray AM, sports journalist and broadcaster and much-loved host of The World Game on SBS. Les used his public profile and his own story as a refugee to raise awareness of and promote refugee rights.

Nominations are sought from authors, artists, actors, community leaders, sports people, film-makers, and journalists who have settled in Australia as refugees. The Award recipient will receive a $10,000 prize in recognition of the contribution they have made to help encourage positive awareness of refugees.

The Award will be Chaired by Australia for UNHCR Deputy Chair Kate Dundas, who brings years of experience in the arts and media as Director of ABC Radio, Executive Director of Performing Arts at the Sydney Opera House and currently as a non-executive Director of Sydney Festival.

Dundas is joined by Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Multi- Country Representative; David Hua, Director of Audio and Language content at SBS and former refugee; and Ann Odong, Digital Content Project Manager at Football Federation Australia and former Ugandan refugee.

The selection committee will be looking for someone who has made a positive difference and raised awareness about the situation of refugees and forcibly displaced people.

Les Murray AM holds a soccer ball in front of SBS signage © SBS

Les Murray AM, who passed away in 2017, was a former refugee who fled Hungary in 1956 and settled in Australia a year later. He became a household name as a football broadcaster with SBS.

© SBS

Nominations are sought from authors, artists, actors, community leaders, sports people, film-makers, and journalists who have settled in Australia as refugees.

© UNHCR/ E. Denholm

“This award recognises the talent, creativity and courage of refugees making an impact in arts, sports or media, helping to create a more inclusive and diverse Australia,” said Kate Dundas.

“We know when we welcome and support refugees from around the world, their contribution to our community can have a hugely positive impact.

“I speak for the entire selection committee when I say we are so eager to learn about all the great accomplishments of refugees living in Australia and celebrate them through Les Murray’s legacy.”

David Hua, Director of Audio and Language Content at SBS, added “SBS is proud to be a partner in this special award that recognises the many ways refugees contribute to and enrich our society, and also honours the late, great Les Murray who is an SBS legend and who made such a positive impact on SBS and the audiences we serve.”

Nominations close on 31 January 2022 and a winner will be announced in April 2022. The winner will be invited to an Award Ceremony held on World Refugee Day in June 2022.

Please see more on Les Murray’s life, refugee advocacy, and award in his honour here.

To submit a nomination for Australia for UNHCR – SBS Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition, please visit unrefugees.org.au/about-us/sbs-les-murray-award

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jasmine Turvey / [email protected] / +61 437 762 320

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