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New Les Murray Award set to highlight refugee contributions

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SBS has joined forces with Australia for UNHCR to honour refugee contributions in the arts, sports and media with the Les Murray award.

The Australia for UNHCR – SBS Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition was announced at the World Refugee Day Lunch in Sydney, with the recipient to receive $10,000 for their contribution.

Nominees for the award named after the late SBS legend will be sought from authors, artists, community leaders, sports people, filmmakers and journalists who came to Australia as refugees.

Murray, a former refugee who fled Hungary in 1956, became a household name as a football broadcaster in Australia, and SBS Managing Director James Taylor was proud the award would honour his legacy.

“SBS’s purpose is about inspiring among all Australians a shared understanding, respect and celebration of our differences,” Taylor said.

“As a refugee, Les embodied all that SBS aspires to be. Passionate about our purpose and SBS’s role in helping people understand each other better, he was a true advocate.

“I know I speak for the entire SBS team when I say that we are extremely proud to be supporting the award and Les would be honoured to know it holds his name and his legacy.”

Murray’s daughter, Natalie Murray, was equally touched, saying: “Our father was a passionate and compassionate person.

“There were two causes that he lived for – football and refugees. We are honoured to have our father’s name live on through this award.”

SBS is set to support the first three years of the award, with the inaugural recipient to be announced in March next year.

Australia for UNHCR is the national partner of the UN Refugee Agency and aims to raise funds and public awareness to support several international humanitarian programs.