Since arriving in Australia three years ago from Senegal in West Africa, Ousmane NGom has had a profound impact on many communities through his volunteer work and through his position as Restaurant Manager at Lentil as Anything in Footscray. In this short time, Mr NGom has shown himself to be a remarkable leader and a creative catalyst for social cohesion and empowerment for many of our diverse cultural communities.
Lentil as Anything took Mr NGom on as a volunteer not long after his arrival in Australia. He quickly became a cultural ambassador and mentor for many of Lentil’s volunteers and staff, who range from the socially marginalised, newly arrived migrants, refugees (some straight out of detention centres), and in particular young Sudanese and Ethiopian men and women.
Mr NGom was promoted into the role of Restaurant Manager at the new Lentil as Anything restaurant in Footscray in 2009. The Footscray restaurant is a rare place that combines a neighbourhood and community focus with hospitality and great food with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Through Mr NGom’s commitment and hard work, it has become a place that recognises and celebrates cultural diversity. His ability to embrace community and cultural imperatives is making a significant impact on the surrounding community as well as with his diverse staff.
Mr NGom is an excellent example of the difference one person can make to the lives of many. His leadership qualities and willingness to donate his time and skills make him an inspiration to us all.