Migrant pioneer in arts wins accolade

A FORMER Arab Council Bankstown youth program manager and now Diversity Arts Australia CEO Lena Nahlous has been awarded the 2024 Carla Zampatti Arts and Culture Medal as part of the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Honours.

The accolade celebrates individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to promoting cultural understanding and artistic endeavours within and between culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
For over two decades, Lena Nahlous has been a pioneering force in the arts and creative sectors.
Inspired by her lived intersectional experience of race, gender, and class, Lena has dedicated her career to advocating social change and fostering inclusive leadership.
She said winning the medal was a massive but very welcome surprise.
“Music, performance, theatre, writing and screen have the power to be transformative,” she said.
“The art that is being produced by NSW migrant, refugee and culturally diverse communities, including from my own Arab communities, are a testament to this.
“Even after working with hundreds of talented and dedicated creatives, I am still so aware of how marginalised culturally diverse communities are in all creative industries, and how much work we have to do.
“At Diversity Arts Australia we offer training and provide access to free assistance through the and share resources like our Colour Cycle podcast.”
Previous accolades include Lena being awarded a Churchill Fellowship (2023) and winning the Western Sydney Woman Leader of Change Award (2020).