Victoria Govt recognizes ‘extraordinary works’ of resettled Bhutanese


Including Khem Khanal, a total of 24 former refugees were recognised for their extraordinary works they have made to their communities and wider Australian community.

Khem Khanal (second from right) with the Assistant Commissioner Andrew of Crisp Victoria Police, Chin Tan Chairperson VMC; and Jill Morgan, CEO Multicultural Arts Victoria, the female on left (Picture courtesy: Parsuram Sharma -Luital)
Khem Khanal (second from right) with the Assistant Commissioner Andrew of Crisp Victoria Police, Chin Tan Chairperson VMC; and Jill Morgan, CEO Multicultural Arts Victoria, the female on left (Picture: Parsuram Luital)

The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) recognized former refugees for their contribution to Australia during the refugee week.

Among the VIPs among others were the Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp of Victoria Police and Jill Morgan, CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria who handed the awards to the 24 recipients.

Khanal, who is current Vice-President of the Bhutanese Organization in Australia (BOA), was referred and nominated by Parsuram Sharma –Luital JP on behalf of the community.

He became one of the outstanding recipients of the Victoria Refugee Recognition Record Award 2013.

On behalf of Victoria Police, Luitel also referred Tehiya Umer, another resettled refugee from other nationality, and bagged the award.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Chin Tan Chairperson of VMC said, the contribution made by new arrival in our country was no less than anyone else and we all should recognise and celebrate the achievements.

He further said, “The culture and practices these community bring to Australia not only add to Multiculturalism but provide the economic opportunities such as the cultural dances like many African and other bands, and other business initiatives through cultural food and social enterprise.”

“We proud that one of our volunteers has been recognized by the Victoria government,” BOA said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to BOA, Khanal has so far volunteered in many projects in Nepal with UNHCR and other international organisations (WFP, Oxfam, IOM and Red Cross) and as schoolteacher for 15 years in the Bhutanese refugee camp.

Upon arrival in Australia, within two months Khanal, joined Kangan TAFE to study English language and basic computer skills. He is a full-time student of accounting at the RMIT University since July 2012 after he has excelled in Certificate IV and Advance Diploma in accounting from Kangan TAFE with high distinction.


In Melbourne, Khanal is mostly occupied with transporting pregnant women to hospitals as they don’t have or drive cars, assisting pensioner and disabled people to various appointments, interpreting on behalf of elder community, and supporting various community events, both inside and outside Bhutanese community, according to BOA.

Khanal has also served as settlement volunteer in AMES settlement services (around 50 hours) and as driving volunteer for new refugee migrant at AMES Multicultural Hub established to offer driving classes (225 hours) to Assyrian Chaldean and Bhutanese in the Northen Suburb.

Similarly, he has also been volunteering as a L2P volunteer for Hume City Council Driving Project funded by VicRoads (130 hours). He also contributed massively at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), and Melbourne Multicultural Hub as a Tax Help Volunteer for Australian Taxation Office (around 150 hours), according to BOA.

“Having lived as a refugee for 20 years in the refugee camp with very limited opportunity to explore career aspirations, Khanal has showed to the Bhutanese community and wider Australian community that refugees do not wait for charity and take any opportunity that arises to display their skills, humanity and good will to the greater humane cause,” Lauded BOA, adding, “The community is really impressed with what he has been offering for the humanity.”

According to BOA, the award would motivate other youngsters in the Bhutanese community to look Khanal as an idol and motivate community.

Khanal reached Australia on June 8, 2010 from Nepal under the Australian Government’s humanitarian program.