Sierra Leonean honoured in Australia


October 14, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

A Sierra Leonean based in Australia has been honoured for his outstanding contributions and promotion of understanding between African communities and residents in that part of the world.

Ansumana Usman Koroma few days ago received the ‘Pride of Australia Medal 2015’ from News Corporation in Australia.

Being a highly competitive and one of the most honourable awards in Australia, ‘The Pride of Australia Medal’ is one of News Corporation Australia’s most important community endeavours, playing a fundamental role as a vehicle to celebrate and acknowledge the remarkable contribution and achievements of members of the Australian community.

According to the organisation, Mr. Koroma was recognised after having spent years in Guinea and West Africa assisting the Red Cross in addressing the needs of refugees, and that since moving to Tasmania, he has promoted understanding between African communities and residents.

Speaking to this medium via mobile phone, Mr. Koroma said: “it is a great honour for making it to the final and also winning the award in this august platform of recognition and acknowledgement for service to society.”

He said the award will continue to open his eyes to so many perspectives regarding the challenges they face as a community and as a people.”

According to him, the accolade is for all and therefore encouraged others to continue playing a positive role in shaping the society.

“I would like to thank my family and friends for their unending support, and volunteers who worked tirelessly with me over the years to accomplish those dreams,” he said.

A founder member of the Sierra Leonean and Liberian Association, Koroma in 2014 campaigned to raise items that worth more than Aus$800,000 (eight hundred thousand Australian dollars) in support of the people of Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.

A Policy Analyst at the Department of Premier and Cabinet in the state of Tasmania in Australia, Koroma is one of the most celebrated Sierra Leoneans currently living in that country.

This is not the first award Mr. Koroma has received in Australia as in 2007, he was awarded for his outstanding humanitarian role in building the capacity and resilience of newly arrived refugees and migrants from Africa and the Middle East bygiving them hope and direction with their settlement and future.

Since arriving in 2002, his astute leadership made him to be well respected in Australia and beyond.

At the height of the deadly Ebola crisis which claimed the lives of over two thousand Sierra Leoneans and crippled the country’s economy, Mr. Koroma was the pioneer and National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Ebola Action Group in Australia (SEAGA).

Through his courageous leadership, SEAGA collected and shipped four 40ft containers of medical supplies to Sierra Leone to help in combating the Ebola virus. Out of this coffer, he personally provided fifty bags of 50kg rice to Ebola affected families and quarantined homes in Buedu Town, Kailahun District.