2013 QLD Peace and Dialogue Award Ceremony held at the Parliament House


2013 QLD Peace and Dialogue Award Ceremony held at Parliament House

 The recipients of these awards have demonstrated the will and courage to be ambassadors of goodwill. They express the desire to embrace a diverse and multicultural Australia, where there is no fear, mistrust and suspicion but an Australia defined by mate ship, a fair go and inclusion. The shackles of prejudice exist somewhat in all communities regardless of ethnicity, race or creed. Our award recipients tonight are doing their bit to challenge these notions and ensure that a united, democratic, liberal and egalitarian Australia triumphs.

Each award recognises the award recipient’s outstanding contribution to the understanding, appreciation, facilitation and promotion of dialogue between members of the various faith, no-faith and cultural communities.  Contributions include engaging people as relevant, from both one’s own faith or cultural tradition and other faith and cultural traditions present in our community, recognising both commonality and difference in order to actively promote informed dialogue, understanding and acceptance.  This contribution includes community outreach which involved both a personal effort and a broader involvement of his or her institution in engaging the various communities in our diverse society. This engagement further includes promoting dialogue in both the private and public domains in order to help build a harmonious and cohesive society through lawful means available to the recipient.  Queensland Intercultural Society recognises people making outstanding contributions in four specialised self-explanatory categories.

These are:

  1. Public Service Award: The Award for the Promotion of community harmony through the Public Sector.

Award winner: The Hon John Mickel, Former Speaker of the House QLD Parliament         

  1. Community Leadership Award: The Award for the Promotion of social harmony within Australian Society

Award winner: Imam Ahmed Abu Ghazaleh, Director of As- Salaam Institute

  1. Interfaith Award: The Award for Promoting Interfaith Dialogue between the various faith Communities.

Award Winner: Dr Brian J Adams Director of Multifaith Centre at the Griffith University

  1. Media Award: The Award for Promoting Dialogue through Media.

Award Winner: Mr Scott Stephen, ABC Online Editor of Religion and Ethics


Queensland Public Service Award: The exceptional recipient of this award has supported, promoted or initiated intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue in the public domain to help build a cohesive society through engagement, policies and/or political action.

Queensland Public Service Award winner was ordained The Honourable John Mickel, Former Speaker of the Queensland State Parliament.

IMG_3410     IMG_3332


He was born in Murgon, west of Gympie, in 1953

He holds a Master’s Degree in Literary Studies as well as Degrees in Arts and Education and a Diploma of Teaching.

He is married with three children.  Before entering the Queensland Parliament he worked as a Senior Policy Advisor at a State and Federal level.  He has formerly been a university lecturer, tutor and teacher.

He was Labor Party politician. He became the Member for Logan at the 1998 state election.

He served as minister for seven portfolios in five years (2004-09) before his appointment to the role of Speaker (2009-12).

He was elevated to the Cabinet as Minister for Environment in February 2004 and appointed Minister for Energy in August 2004. He gained the additional portfolio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy in March 2005.

He was formerly Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations from September 2007 to March 2009 and Minister for State Development, Employment and Industrial Relations from September 2006 to September 2007.

He represented Australia on the Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on the Finance sub-committee.

In early 2009, he was the 36th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the 53rd Queensland Parliament and ceased to hold that position on May 14th last year after his decision to not re-contest his seat at the 2012 State election.

Now He is a part time University Lecturer, member of a number of Advisory Board for private Organisations, a Member of an Advisory Board for a Mining Company and Guest Speaker

 Community Leadership Award: Our next winner for the category of Community Leadership Award is a remarkable community leader and has been a voice for peace, harmony, moderation, tolerance and goodwill for many years. His message of being proud of one’s history and traditions whilst embracing the values and institutions of modern Australia resonates strongly with Australian Muslims; he’s dignified demeanor and work with the disadvantaged and for those who have lost hope inspires many.

Community Leadership Award winner was ordained Imam Ahmed Abu Ghazaleh from As- Salaam Institute



He is an educator and community leader.

He has been a keynote presenter for the Humanity foundation. He presented many speeches about diversity education, social inclusion and harmonious coexistence to over 20.000 students in the past 6 years. He participated many leadership and interfaith camps as a scholar. He was invited as a keynote speaker by the National Student Leadership Forum at the Federal Parliament House in Canberra

He is an active member of the Australian Federal Councils of Imams (ANIC) and the local Council of Imams (CIQ).

He is an Associate Lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Griffith University. He has taught a number of courses such as Introduction to Islamic Law, Great Texts of Islam and Great Empires of Islam.

He is an artist of spiritual songs. He has recorded a number of Cds and participated in national and international Festival.

Now he is the Director of As-Salaam institute of Islamic Studies and Imam of Logan Mosque.

 Interfaith Dialogue Award: This award applauds outstanding contribution made to the understanding, appreciation and practice of interfaith dialogue by adding value in engaging others, involving people of one’s own faith tradition and taking dialogue to new frontiers.


Queensland Interfaith Award winner was ordained Dr Brian J Adams, Director of the Multifaith Centre at the Griffith University



A centre that explicitly engages with issues of faith and spirituality on a public university campus is unique in Australian society.  He who sees this as an ideal platform to promote respect and understanding between communities across Australia and abroad.  In addition, this unique position allows the Centre to be a legitimate facilitator of dialogue between secular and faith institutions.

Examples of his work include dialogues between the Queensland Police Service and faith communities, explorations of religion and conflict between faith groups and Communities. He has organized lecture series, which provides a public Q&A forum for various faith representatives in the Centre.  Furthermore, he is spearheading a number of important initiatives, including the International Religion Journalism Symposium in October and the G20 Interfaith Summit in 2014.


Media Award: The outstanding recipient of this award is applauded for the effort made towards promoting a better understanding of faiths and cultures through their fair & objective coverage of events and individuals in our multi-faith society.

2013 Queensland Media Award winner was ordained Mr Scott Stephens, ABC Online Editor of Religion and Ethics



He is the Religion and Ethics editor for ABC Online. He joined the ABC in 2010 as the Religion and Ethics Editor for ABC Online and specialist commentator for ABC TV and Radio. Before joining the ABC he taught theology for many years, and even did a stint as a parish minister with the Uniting Church in Australia. He has written extensively on the intersections among philosophy, theology, ethics and politics, as well as on modern atheism’s dependence on the Christian legacy. He is also a regular contributor to The Drum, Eureka Street and the Times Literary Supplement. He has edited and translated (with Rex Butler) two volumes of the Selected Works of the highly influential philosopher and cultural critic, Slavoj Zizek – including The Universal Exception, which was named by The Guardian newspaper one of its “Books of the Year” in 2007.

In 201, He hosted an exciting new Compass series Life’s Big Questions. Each episode features he has talked about the meaning of life with high profile Australians including Matt Preston, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, Julian Morrow, Clare Bowditch, Philip Nitschke and Rolf De Heer.










Iftar Message from Hon Glen Elmes, Multicultural Minister

“I would like to extend, on this special special occasion, my greetings to all Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. I was honoured to have been invited by the Queensland Intercultural Society to sponsor the first Newman Government’s Iftar Dinner at Parliament House and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the breaking of the daily fast. Queensland […]