ORGANISERS are looking ahead to next year, following the success of the inaugural Refugee Week Business and Employee Recognition Awards.
Greater Bendigo has marked World Refugee Day with a celebration of the valuable contributions people from refugee backgrounds and their employers make to the community.
About 180 people attended the inaugural Refugee Week Business and Employee Recognition Awards at Fortuna Villa on Thursday.
Awards were presented in four categories.
Mad Cow Cleaning was the recipient of the Refugee Week Business Recognition Award for small business, while Moira Mac's Poultry and Fine Foods received the award for large business.
Bendigo Health dental clinic's Say Ka Trace was named employee of the year in the small business category.
Lwai Thaw Klay Pay Klay, of Amicus, received the employee of the year award for large business.
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Rural Australians for Refugees Bendigo convenor, Christine Cummins said the awards intended to bring attention to the positive impact people from refugee background brought to the community.
It also sought to recognise the efforts of businesses working toward an inclusive workplace.
"It was time to acknowledge the many local businesses and organisations in Bendigo that are making a positive difference in the successful settlement of people from refugee background," Ms Cummins said.
The gala dinner and ceremony included a panel discussion and music by Tun Naing.
The event was hosted by RAR Bendigo in collaboration with Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children and Bendigo Friends and Mentors.
Sponsors included local businesses, the Commonwealth Bank, and ANZ Bank.
Other supporting agencies included Bendigo Community Health Services, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services and the City of Greater Bendigo.
Ms Cummins said organisers were planning to stage the awards annually, following the success of the inaugural event.
"The feedback has been amazing," she said.
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