Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman joined business owners and entrepreneurs from across Australia last night to celebrate the 30th Annual Ethnic Business Awards in Sydney.
Minister Coleman said the awards are a great showcase of the ingenuity, skills, innovation and contributions migrants have made to Australia.
“The diversity of the finalists is testimony to the success of Australia’s multicultural society, reflecting that one-third of small businesses in Australia are owned by migrants, which employ more than 1.4 million people,” Minister Coleman said.
Minister Coleman presented the Small Business Category award, which is sponsored by the Department of Home Affairs and won by Parramatta local Michael Dakhoul of Construction Consultants Pty Ltd.
Escaping the effects of civil war in Lebanon, Mr Dakhoul arrived in Australia in 1982 with $10 in his pocket, a change of clothes and a few text books.
His determination, resilience and gratitude towards his new country led him to take a risk and set up his own business offering professional consulting services in the construction and development industry. Today Mr Dakhoul employs 42 people with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and has plans to expand further across the country.
“Mr Dakhoul and all the award nominees are true success stories of our immigration heritage,” Minister Coleman said.
“The Ethnic Business Awards showcase stories of outstanding migrant achievement—those who contribute valuable skills and experience and achieve success in Australia.