About the award
The Multicultural NSW Award ($30,000) is offered for
- a book of fiction or non-fiction, memoir or history
- a play, musical drama or comedy, theatrical monologue or other theatrical performance,
- a book of collected poems or a single poem of substantial length published in book form,
- the screenplay of a feature or documentary film or episode of a television program (drama, comedy or documentary), or
- the script of a radio play or documentary
which is deemed by the judges to have made a significant contribution to Australian literature, poetry, theatre, film, radio or television and which also considers:
- any aspect of the Australian migration experience; and/or
- aspects of cultural diversity and multiculturalism in Australian society.
This award is sponsored wholly by Multicultural NSW.
The Judging Panel
Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Palestinian Egyptian Muslim writer, academic, activist, former lawyer and the multi-award-winning author of 14 books published in over 20 countries. Her most recent books include Coming of Age in the War on Terror (longlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize, shortlisted for the 2022 NSW and Victorian Premiers' Literary Awards), The Very Best Doughnut and her first picture story book, 11 Words for Love, illustrated by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Randa is also a Future Fellow at Macquarie University, researching Arab/Muslim radical social movements since the 1970s.
Sami Shah is a multi-award-winning comedian, writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Sami has been a frequent guest on The Project, ABC’s The Drum, been a panelist on Q&A, and appeared on QI with Stephen Fry. He is spoken extensively on race, politics, free speech, political analysis, and cultural commentary.
From 2018 to 2020, Sami co-hosted the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) Radio Melbourne Breakfast program with Jacinta Parsons. He has also presented RN Saturday Extra and produced and hosted multiple documentary series on ABC RN's Earshot on race, free speech, and religion.
Sami’s created and co-hosted multiple podcasts, including Laughing Dead for ABC, and Beginners Guide to Pakistan for BBC Radio 4. Sami’s autobiography, I, Migrant, was nominated for the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the WA Premier's Literary Award, and the Russell Prize for Humour Writing. He has also written Boy of Fire and Earth, a critically acclaimed urban fantasy novel, and the Islamic Republic of Australia, a non-fiction exploration of religious belief. Sami has also contributed multiple essays and short stories to various anthologies and collections and most recently wrote the satirical Gadfly column for The Saturday Paper. He is currently lecturing in journalism at the University of Melbourne's Centre for Advancing Journalism. Sami Shah is the Ambassador-at-Large for PEN Melbourne.
Jennifer Wong is a Chinese-Australian writer, comedian, and curator of In Other Words, the writers and ideas program at OzAsia Festival in Adelaide. She’s the presenter of Chopsticks or Fork?, a six-part ABC series on Chinese restaurants in regional Australia, and as a writer, her work on mental health, food, and culture has been published by ABC Everyday, ABC News, Broadsheet, Monocle, SBS News, SBS Food, and The Guardian. Her first book, Chopsticks or Fork?, is co-written with Lin Jie Kong, and will be published by Hardie Grant in May 2024.