Afghan social entrepreneur wins Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun9,2024
Key Points
  • Afghan refugee Hedayat Osyan is the winner of the 2024 Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition.
  • The award recognises an outstanding former refugee raising awareness of the plight of forcibly displaced people.
  • Osyan’s social enterprise CommUnity Construction has employed and trained dozens of refugees.
Hedayat Osyan knows a thing or two about changing lives for the better.

Since setting up his social enterprise CommUnity Construction seven years ago, Osyan, a former refugee from Afghanistan, has employed and trained dozens of refugees with limited English language skills.

He can now add the 2024 Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition to his list of achievements.
The award, sponsored by SBS and named after former SBS sports broadcaster Les Murray AM, who came to Australia as a refugee from Hungary, recognises an outstanding former refugee raising awareness of the plight of forcibly displaced people.

“I congratulate Hedayat Osyan for his many achievements and commitment to providing work for a vulnerable community that needed a trusted partner to help them build pathways for their careers and livelihoods,” James Taylor, Managing Director of SBS, said.

A man standing in a white football shirt with black trim. Other men wearing the same shirt are behind him.

“We want to prove refugees are resilient, hard workers and bring new skills to society if you give them an opportunity,” Osyan said. Source: Supplied / Australia for UNHCR/Daniel Guia

Osyan is a member of Afghanistan’s persecuted Hazara community. He was just 17 when the Taliban attacked his family’s village in Ghazni in 2009, forcing him to flee and travel by boat to Australia. He was detained on Christmas Island for three months.

In 2010, he received his residency and moved to Sydney where he studied English at Marsden High School before completing years 11 and 12.
He’s now trained 90 refugees from different countries, with 60 employed in construction and four setting up their own companies.

“We help refugees thrive and become independent,” Osyan said. “We want to prove refugees are resilient, hard workers and bring new skills to society if you give them an opportunity.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Afghan social entrepreneur wins Les Murray Award for Refugee Recognition”
  1. As an advocate for refugee rights, I am thrilled to hear about Hedayat Osyan’s remarkable achievements in empowering fellow refugees through his social enterprise. His dedication to creating opportunities for those in need is truly inspirational, and it’s heartening to see his efforts being recognized with the Les Murray Award. Osyan’s story is a testament to the resilience and strength of refugees, and I hope his success will continue to shed light on the challenges faced by forcibly displaced people worldwide.

  2. How does Osyan’s experience as a former refugee contribute to the success of CommUnity Construction?

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