CEO, Media Diversity Australia
Her inspiring journey in the community legal sector assisting victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence embarks a remarkable recognition towards the Asian-Australian community. She is committed to advocating for greater diversity and justice in Australian society and politics and was featured as one of 21 Inspirational Women of 2021 in Vogue Australia.
Amongst the 40 awardees this year are vocalist, producer and multidisciplinary artist, Rainbow Chan, through her multi-faceted practice, she strives to raise awareness of Asian-Australian art & culture and celebrate Australia’s diverse cultural heritage; a biomaterials engineer, Academic Fellow, and Deputy Head of School (Education) at the School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Sydney, Dr Young Jung No, who has been active in mentoring Asian students through unique challenges during university, and seeks contribution from First Nations peoples to increase engagement with engineering; and the three-time TEDx speaker, Founder and Speaker of Breathe Mr Jahin Tanvir, as a first generation migrant, his vision is to empower people from diverse backgrounds in decision-making and to be a role model to show that young multicultural voices matter and should be given importance.
“Significant bias, discrimination and racism exists against Asian-Australians in both work and non-work situations. To date, there is a lack of focus by senior leaders on leveraging Asian-Australian talent. At a time when everybody is complaining about the lack of talent, the Awards put Asian-Australians under the limelight by celebrating their journey in reaching such an awe-inspiring milestone” says Martine Letts, CEO of Asialink Group.
Mariam was most recently in a management position at the Diversity Council of Australia, founded the Islamophobia Register Australia, and has held multiple board positions. With many accolades to her name including the Fairfax Daily Life 2016 Woman of the year, the 2015 Westpac Woman of Influence and Welcoming Australia Life Member Award in 2021, Mariam is renowned for influencing positive change both in the workplace and in society more broadly.
Mariam was born in Afghanistan and came to Australia in 1990 with her family as a refugee.
Among the category winners this year are Chinese-Australian musician Mindy Meng Wang, community advocate Majorie Tenchavez, CTO at MA Asset Group Will Liang, education entrepreneur Dr Celina Ping Yu, brothers Dimitry and Aengus Tran founders of Harrison.ai, lawyer Mannie Kaur Verma, Creative Producer and presenter Andy Trieu, Australian Army Major Jacob Sheung-Kay Choi and Founder of Embrace Collective Youth Initiative 17 year old Rhea Werner.
The inaugural winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Ming Long AM, non-executive director and current Chair of the Diversity Council of Australia. Asialink CEO Martine Letts says one in five people in Australia have an Asian cultural heritage, yet only 3% of senior management positions are held by Asian-Australians.
“It’s not only in the boardroom where this bias exists, discrimination extends across all industries,” says Ms Letts.
“The awards shine a light on the incredible leadership talent and potential of Asian-Australians – but there is still a long way to go,” she adds.
“There is a real lack in recognition of and focus on leveraging Asian-Australian grown talent. If overseas markets are more attractive to talent from multicultural backgrounds we risk losing our best and brightest.”
Professional background is in accounting and finance, starting her career in banking at Macquarie Group in 2018.
A doctor working in Sydney, and the Co-Founder and Director of Consent Labs (a youth-led not-for-profit that delivers consent and respectful relationships education).