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The diverse talents of VU's Elleni Bereded-Samuel

Victoria University's (VU) Community Engagement Coordinator Elleni Bereded-Samuel has won the 2008 Diversity@Work Individual Champion Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

Elleni was presented with her award by Sir Bob Geldof at a gala dinner.

The eighth annual awards recognised employers and individuals who had created a business that is inclusive for all workers, clients and the broader community.

Speaking at the awards Sir Bob Geldof said: "Different systems of thought and behaviour add to the dynamism of any company. A country can't grow without using all the cultures, all the talent, all the dynamism of the people of Australia."

Diversity@Work CEO Mark Heaysman said Elleni had a long background in improving conditions for people from diverse backgrounds.

"Elleni shows dynamic leadership in creating new solutions for community members to access and participate in the university community and society in general."

Mr Heaysman said employers across Australia must do more to give people with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds a fair go and that the awards recognised businesses that are making a real difference.

He said: "There's no reason Australia shouldn't be the world leader when it comes to workplace diversity. We have a wide population of indigenous workers, mature-aged workers, people with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds, as well as return to work parents."

"These awards are a reminder to every organisation throughout the country to step up. I congratulate Elleni on setting such a fine example."

"Businesses and individuals who celebrate and embrace diversity can make a real difference in the community."

VU's Pro Vice Chancellor (Industry and Community), Professor Peter Creamer, said: "Elleni has made enormous contributions to the wider community and it is good to see her get the recognition she deserves - she has our heartiest congratulations."

Media Contact:
Andy Gash, Snr. Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 4950; mobile: 0411 255 900

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