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Newcomer Champion Awards Recipients 2009

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Newcomer Champion Awards Recipients 2009

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Created in 2007, the Newcomer Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations who foster a greater understanding of Ontario's cultures and who support better economic and social integration of newcomers.

Dr. Yamil H. Alonso of Brampton, is a promoter of skilled newcomers and equal employment opportunities. He was instrumental in the development of the Skills Without Borders initiative and website skillwithoutborders.com, which provides employers with recommendations and tools needed to develop and manage a culturally diverse workplace. 

Mario J. Calla of Toronto, executive director of COSTI Immigrants Services, has helped bring attention to issues of concern to newcomers, from learning English and finding jobs in their field to more serious matters such as family violence and gambling addiction.

Dr. Balliram Chadee of Ajax, founder and president of the Hanuman Mission, has worked for over 24 years to build bridges between those who offer support for newcomers with those who are seeking help from the South Asian and Indo Caribbean community in Durham Region.

Ian Jones of Milton, is an education advocate who promotes Ontario's diversity to students.   The principal of Milton District High School developed a Living Cultures course for Grade 12 students to promote respect and appreciation of today's diverse communities.

Nora Melara-Lopez has worked hand in hand with newcomers as part of the North Hamilton Community Health Centre. Through initiatives such as the Trans-Cultural Mental Health Wellness Team, she supports newcomers struggling with post-migration challenges.

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) has provided settlement and integration services to the Ottawa area for more than 30 years.  Their Multicultural Liaison Officer MLO Team works with school boards to help newly landed high school students and their families in their integration.

Fani Papadopoulos of Toronto, a manager in the Continuing Education Department of the Toronto District School Board, has helped to establish programs in more than 50 different languages for more than 30,000 elementary and secondary school children.

Aurelia Tokaci of Hamilton, an entrepreneur and manager of employment services at Settlement and Integration Services Organization  (SISO), helps talented and experienced newcomers to establish businesses and get jobs in Hamilton. 

Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) champions solutions that better integrate skilled immigrants into the labour market.  With programs like Career Bridge and the TRIEC Mentoring Program, TRIEC has helped connect thousands of newcomers with the support of more than 50 corporate partners and 12 community organizations. 

Ann Welsh of North Bay works to ensure that her region welcomes diversity and values cultural traditions.  She manages programming for the North Bay Newcomers Network, promoting diversity in the area through events like Canada Day and various multicultural celebrations.