Thank you very much Joseph and to you and Angela, can I thank you for your unfailing commitment to recognising the importance and the contribution that our diversity brings.

Can I start by also adding my acknowledgement of country.

Can I also acknowledge my parliamentary colleagues Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar, Jason Clare, New South Wales Legislative Council Preseident John Ajaka; Former Governor General Major General Jeffrey and his wife Marlena; members of the diplomatic corp; many other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to be here this evening representing Prime Minister Turnbull as we once again, celebrate with you the enormous contribution of ethnic businesses to the Australian economy.

The Prime Minister has asked me to pass on his best wishes and read the following message on his behalf:

The Annual Ethnic Business Awards are a wonderful way to recognise and reward the achievements of migrants and Indigenous Australians, and to celebrate our nation’s diversity.

As a proud and unwavering multicultural nation, Australians are bound together by our shared belief in democracy, the rule of law, and a fair go — and by mutual respect.

Next to our First Australians, who have lived here for 50,000 years, all of us are relative newcomers. Since the end of the Second World War, 7.5 million people have come from all corners of the earth to make their homes here.

Australia would not be the country it is today without the extraordinary contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, and the enterprise, innovation and hard work they have brought to our society and economy.

All have helped build this nation, and helped to make it a beacon of harmony, opportunity and prosperity in a world where strife and discord are all too common.

With these thoughts in mind, congratulations to everyone being honoured tonight, and thank you for your contributions.

May all attendees of the 2017 Annual Ethnic Business Awards have a wonderful evening.

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia

The Turnbull Government strongly supports the contribution of our migrant heritage towards helping our economy thrive and our ongoing transformation as a diversified trading economy.

The unique quality of our migrants has helped drive innovation as highly skilled, hard-working and highly educated families have chosen Australia as their new home.

In such a rich multi-cultural country, our diasporas are one of our richest assets. People from diverse backgrounds often have different priorities, and quickly recognise different opportunities.

Ethnic businesses share with many other businesses similar characteristics, the entrepreneurial drive, the risk taking and the strong self-belief.

But in other ways there are characteristics that are very pronounced amongst “ethnic” business, and that is energy.

An abundant motivation and drive to achieve in their new land and importantly bring a fresh cultural perspective, which sets them apart.

30% of our small businesses are started by migrants and history has shown us in this country that many of those small businesses have gone on to be some of our major successes and major success stories.

And so tonight, as we celebrate business excellence and in recognising your successes, can I thank you for this energy and the enthusiasm that you bring, the hard work and the contribution that you make to our economy and those of our partners around the world.

It is wonderful to share the recognition that you so justly deserve and to be with you this evening.

Can I thank you for the enormous contribution that you make and that ethnic and indigenous businesses make to Australia.

Congratulations to all the finalists and to the winners this evening.

Thank you very much.

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