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2010 Newcomer Champion Award Recipients

Archived Backgrounder

2010 Newcomer Champion Award Recipients

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

The Newcomer Champion Awards recognize Ontarians who promote a greater understanding of Ontario's cultures and who support newcomers in successfully settling and integrating, socially and economically.

2010 Newcomer Champion Award Recipients:

Ghina Al-Sewaidi of Toronto is the first Iraqi female lawyer practicing in Canada, and is an advocate for women's rights in her community.  She provides free legal advice on domestic violence cases for the Arab Community Centre of Toronto and is a co-founder of The Iraqi Canadian Society of Ontario.

Michel Bencini of Toronto is an English Second Language teacher and a humanitarian who helps immigrant students integrate into the Canadian classroom.  He has been the head of the Toronto Catholic District School Board Orientation Centre for 15 years and has worked to assess credentials for newcomer high school students.  He also teaches after-school English literacy development classes for students in Toronto.

Bishops' High School Alumni Association of Toronto works to foster the cultural richness of Guyanese culture and develop a social network for Guyanese newcomers to Canada.  The alumni association has created three post-secondary bursaries for high school students, hosts events to promote local artists, artisans and authors, and supports the Guyana Consulate Annual Award to showcase inspirational role models. 

Eileen Clinton of Guelph is an education advocate who supervises the International Language Program for newcomer students in the Wellington District Catholic School Board.  She uses the program to help students and families access social services such as health care, schooling, and food support.

Sun Jung of Chatham is a philanthropist who promotes cultural understanding between the Koreans settled in the area and other local residents.  He runs a taekwondo school which he uses to help newcomers integrate through sport.

Maureen Killoran of Ottawa is the executive director of Carty House, a temporary residence and communal home for female immigrants and refugees. She helps refugee women pursue their claims, and provides them with accommodation, counselling, language training , and job search instruction to facilitate their integration and settlement.

KCWA Family and Social Services of Toronto helps immigrant women and their families with settlement needs.  The association provides Korean newcomers with information on how to access support services including English training, school registration and navigating the health care system.  It also presents workshops for improving the quality of life for immigrants.

Sharon Newmaster of Kitchener established a Welcome Centre for Newcomers at Waterloo Region District School Board, which provides assessments of student proficiency in English and mathematics, and connects families of students with settlement workers to help them adjust to their new communities.  As a learning services consultant for English-language students, she works to improve the quality of education for immigrant and refugee students. 

Amenda Ng of Guelph is a settlement counsellor at Immigrant Services who has dedicated her life to foster understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.  She volunteers with the Guelph and District Multicultural Festival, helping to showcase Chinese traditions.  She also helped establish a Senior Activity Program and a women's fitness club in Guelph to connect newcomers in the community.

Noor Mohamed Mohamed Nizam of Hamilton is a community activist and an advocate of social justice and equity for the Sri Lankan community. He has raised awareness about issues of housing, employment and health for refugees and newcomers. He has been involved in community development, promoting understanding in the South Asian community in Hamilton West and raising funds for international humanitarian assistance for the Tsunami Widows Village Project and the Return to Livelihood Program.

North Bay Newcomer Network of North Bay is dedicated to attracting and retaining newcomers in the area by building a solid network to help them integrate successfully through work, education, and entrepreneurship. The network has welcoming, settlement and employment committees that promote inclusion within the community, address gaps in newcomer services, and work with employers to address their labour market needs by hiring immigrants.

Sevim Onen of Toronto founded Ankara Library, a community library that offers more than 5,000 books in English, French and Turkish.  She uses the library to host sessions for newcomers on integration issues, assists with English as a Second Language instruction, offers friendly visits to isolated seniors and inspires youth through art shows and theatre plays.

Adilla Saloojee of St. Catharines has lent her strengths to help newcomers reach their professional goals in Niagara Region.  Working at an Employment Help Centre as an advisor and facilitator for the bridging program, she assists newcomers' accreditation and integration into the labour market.  She has developed workshops, seminars and training opportunities for employers, stakeholders, and the community at large to promote welcoming communities.

Media Contacts

  • Indira Naidoo-Harris

    Minister's Office


  • Elizabeth Meneses del Castillo

    Communications Branch