The management committee of the Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc. (UCQ) is thrilled to announce that our President, Peter Bongiorni, has been honoured with the “Minister’s Multicultural Award” at the 2023 Multicultural Queensland Awards held last night.
We thank The Honourable Leanne Linard MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, for this recognition of our community’s work under Peter’s leadership over the past 18 months, and his dedication to the community over the past 14 years as in various roles he has held on our management committee.
The Minister’s Multicultural Award is a commendation that celebrates Queenslanders who have made exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and have positively impacted the lives of culturally diverse communities. This award recognises individuals who go above and beyond their call of duty to make Queensland a more inclusive state and is awarded recognising the outstanding contributions of a nominee, selected by the Minister from all category nominations.
“This amazing man has been a voice for the Ukrainian Community, along with many others, including Adam on his team” Minister Linard said when presenting this award to Peter on the night.
“Peter came into my office and through a period of tremendous turmoil that I could only imagine – unfortunately too many people in this room have lived. A period of turmoil for those in his community here watching what has been happening back home.
“He has had such tremendous grace and asked always just so politely “Please could you walk alongside us and help us” and it could never be enough, Peter, but it really has been an absolute honour along with our Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, to recognise, but also do a little bit alongside you and your work, to welcome those newly arrived Ukrainians.” Minister Linard continued.
This prestigious accolade serves as a testament to Peter’s unwavering commitment and exemplary leadership in fostering a community that embraces and celebrates cultural diversity and inclusion. Peter’s leadership as President of the community has been a significant part of the community’s accomplishments over the past years, especially since the cruel and illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the russian federation led to an influx of 1,000 displaced Ukrainians to Queensland. Peter’s dedication to the community’s development – including significant humanitarian crisis work – means that he spends countless hours each week in overcoming the many challenges the community faces.
“Peter has always been the driving force behind our community’s new and innovative endeavours,” said Mikayla Miller, Treasurer of UCQ. “His leadership has empowered us to think creatively and keep pace with the changing needs of the community, particularly in the face of the collective trauma brought about by russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He’s not just a President but an inspiring leader to all community members.”
Peter’s leadership has not only driven UCQ to undertake complex projects but has also fostered a culture of innovation within the organisation. On top of his full-time professional work, he continues to dedicate time and effort to support community initiatives. His empathy, innovation and strong work ethic has been an inspiration to both Ukrainians and the wider community.
“Peter has always been fair, approachable and passionate about the Ukrainian community. In particular, he has worked to ensure that our community is welcoming to all, and Peter’s honesty and fairness has earnt him well-deserved recognition. Our community’s significant humanitarian achievements over the past 18 months would have been piecemeal without him,” said Adam Miljenovic, UCQ Vice President. “Peter is a wonderful and humble human, and we hope he continues to give his time for the good of the community”.