Monica Culen and Giora Seeliger Honoured with Austria’s Golden Medal of Merit

10.June 2024

On 5 June 2024, the RED NOSES family was deeply honoured as founders Monica Culen and Giora Seeliger were awarded the Golden Medal of Merit for Services to the Republic of Austria at Vienna City Hall. 

Surrounded by 200 invited guests, the ceremony celebrated their groundbreaking work in therapeutic humour and mental health. Heartfelt laudations were given by colleagues and notable personalities, including Lorenz Wenda, Christina Matuella, and Miguel Herz-Kestranek.

Monica and Giora’s journey is a testament to their unwavering dedication. “We have achieved an incredible amount over the last 30 years, and it is a wonderful honour to receive this award. The importance of mental health and the right support is greater than ever in today's society and the world we now live in,” said Monica.

Giora emphasised, “Humour is finally gaining scientific recognition as an important factor in mental health. Our pioneering projects have shown what can be achieved on this path. This award is a triumph for the power of humour.”

In 2023, our founders stepped down from their operational roles but remain active as board members. The “Emergency Smile” programme, initiated under their oversight, will conduct more humanitarian missions this year than ever before. The organisation they built and developed is now the leading healthcare clown organisation, spreading joy and laughter with professionally trained artists in 11 countries where it is most needed.