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Dominique Lyonne

2014 Ethnic Business Award to Egyptian migrant, Vietnamese refugee

Dominique Lyonne
Dominique Lyonne

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says it is an honour to recognise this year’s business success stories among Australia’s ethnic communities.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells, who will be attending the 26th Annual Ethnic Business Awards, the country’s longest-running national business awards programme said the awards celebrated the achievements of Australia’s migrants and the valuable and innovative contribution they make to Australian business and to the Australian economy.

“This year’s Awards have many inspirational stories that highlight the positive aspects of a multicultural Australia,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells who has special responsibility for Settlement Services and Multicultural Affairs.

Amongst the finalists is Dominique Lyones, who after leaving Egypt as a young boy with his family, arrived in Australia with just one Australian dollar and a determination to succeed. Today, he has a business which employs over 300 people.

Another finalist is Dr Van Minh Nguyen, a refugee from Vietnam who washed dishes in cafes working 20 hour shifts while educating himself to become a doctor. He now has eight medical centres and other business interests such as shopping malls.

“The Ethnic Business Awards demonstrate that cultural diversity benefits both our new arrivals and Australia as a whole. As a nation, we all share responsibility for providing support and a welcoming spirit to new migrants, enabling them to fully participate in our community,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“The Australian Government recognises the potential of our new migrants to contribute to the success and prosperity of Australian businesses and our economy and provides a range services to assist new arrivals to realise their full potential. These include Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) delivered by service providers on behalf of the Government and the Adult Migrant English Language Program (AMEP) which provides valuable English language tuition.

“For the more entrepreneurial, the Australian Government also provides advice and support through the website, to help Australia businesses to innovate, grow and succeed,” she said.

“I look forward to presenting Awards to winners at the ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday but also congratulate all nominees for their successes in enriching their businesses, their lives and our country.”