CELEBRATE DIVERSITY: Rathi Ramanathan, seen here discussing Inclusive Clarence with John Hagger, has been shortlisted for a Premiers Award.
CELEBRATE DIVERSITY: Rathi Ramanathan, seen here discussing Inclusive Clarence with John Hagger, has been shortlisted for a Premiers Award.

Leader short-listed for state award

THE driving force behind a migrant advocacy service in the Clarence is in the running for a prestigious award.

Rathi Ramanathan, chair of advocacy group LOETUS, has been short-listed for a Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal.

The Regional Unity award is to be presented at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner in Sydney and recognises the contribution of an individual who has significantly benefited the economic, social and cultural wellbeing and unity of a regional community.

While it was still unknown if she had been formally nominated, Ms Ramanathan said it was great to be in the running and could still provide a welcome boost for their fundraising efforts.

“It is a huge opportunity for LOETUS to get visibility because getting funding has been a huge challenge for the group,” she said.

“Hopefully it shines a little visibility on the issue because regional towns are notoriously underfunded in the multicultural space.”

The recognition stemmed from the work LOETUS did in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack which Ms Ramanathan recently discussed in an opinion piece for The Daily Examiner.

She said it was important for their work to be recognised, most notably hosting Islamic Council of Queensland vice-president Ali Kadri in Grafton.

LOETUS is now preparing to host its annual Harmony Day event which will be held at Maclean Services Club this Saturday.

Federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin will be in attendance and fellow Labor MP, Tim Watts, will be providing the keynote address, discussing his book The Golden Country – Australia’s Changing Identity.

The event will also feature a panel of guests including Ms Ramanathan and the CEO of disability service Caringa, Rachel Choy, who will discuss issues affecting members of the migrant and culturally and linguistically diverse community in regional areas.

The event will also be a LOETUS fundraiser.

LOETUS Harmony Day begins at 4pm at Maclean Services Club this Saturday, March 21. Entry is $10 which includes wine, nibbles and entertainment.



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