From a lounge room-based business that’s gone global to a pastry chef serving up internationally-renowned fare, the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Awards for Business have shone a light on some of Brisbane’s best and brightest business leaders.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the awards again confirmed Brisbane is an ideal place for people from all walks of life to pursue their dreams, with business owner Harish Arora announced as the Multicultural Business Leader of the Year Award after taking his logistic business from his lounge room to the global stage.
“Brisbane’s multicultural business community is strong, resilient and extremely talented and our awards always unearth the exceptional stories behind the endeavours of our city’s outstanding local business leaders,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Mr Arora is the perfect example of this after migrating to Australia from India in 2007 and working three jobs to support his study.
“In 2012, he launched OZ Labourforce from his lounge room and has grown the organisation into an international, specialised logistics services company that currently employs more than 200 staff and provides services to countries including New Zealand, North America and Canada.
Cr Schrinner said the Nick Xynias Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year winner Ashawani Soni, who founded Holistic Home Care, was an incredible success story.
“Mr Soni migrated to Australia in 2006 and after gaining experience in the aged care sector, branched out on his own in 2018 at the age of 30 to establish Holistic Home Care.
“His company is a certified NDIS providers, operating with 75 employees and is a shining example of the diversity in the skills of our local business leaders.”
Cr Schrinner said many Brisbane residents would applaud the decision to honour pastry chef Rejoice Thomson with the Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year award.
“Mrs Thomson opened Dovetail Social, a popular cafe in Highgate Hill in 2019, and her has brought a taste of her heritage to diners through her food and desserts,” he said.
“Her now famous ‘Ambassador’s High Tea’ was recently served to the Philippines Ambassador to Australia, Hon. Hellen De La Vega.”
Cr Schrinner congratulated all the finalists and thanked the judges for tackling the task of picking the winners.
“It’s no doubt a tough job to judge the winners each year and I want to congratulate this year’s finalists for their exceptional talent, innovation and resilience,” he said.
“They are all an inspiration to everyone, especially other multicultural business owners and entrepreneurs.”
Cr Schrinner said all funds raised from the awards event would support the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Scholarship Program and Mentoring Scheme.
“Brisbane is Australia’s most small business friendly city and the Multicultural Business Scholarship Program and Mentoring Scheme is helping support recipients by giving them the training and support they need to start or expand their own business,” he said.
“It’s just one of the many ways we are helping to create new opportunities for local businesses and it’s been fantastic to see multicultural business owners embrace our initiatives from the Brisbane Business Hub to business fee reductions.”
Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Awards for Business 2021 winners:
- Nick Xynias Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year – Mr Ashawani Soni, Holistic Home Care, Coorparoo
- Multicultural Business Person of the Year – Mr Harish Arora, OZ Labourforce , Murrarie
- Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year - Mrs Rejoice Thomson, Dovetail Social, Highgate Hill