Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, honoured 33 outstanding individuals and seven local organisations for their contribution to our community on Australia Day.
The 2016 Holt Australia Day Awards were presented at the Day of Nations celebrations in Hampton Park with a large crowd of families and friends turning out to support the recipients.
‘Australia Day is a wonderful day when we can recognise those people who contribute to the community and make our community a better place’, said Mr Byrne.
The 2016 Holt Australia Day Awards were an opportunity to recognise people like Nicole Ryan, the mastermind of the Narre-Cranbourne Relay For Life, who officially stepped down as chairwoman last year.
It was just after Christmas about 12 years ago and Nicole’s father, Clive, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. In Nicole’s words her dad just “shut down” and with nowhere left to turn for help, Nicole rang the Cancer Council who suggested they take part in the Relay for Life.
Seeking to start up her own cancer fund-raiser Nicole set the wheels in motion to run her own event, and by 2012 the Narre-Cranbourne Relay For Life was established. Four years on, and now with 15 people on the cCommittee, the event has raised over $300,000.
Also amongst the Award Recipients were the Young Veterans RSL. Young Veterans started when three mates and fellow veterans realised there was a lack of social welfare groups providing activities for the growing number of young veterans and ex-serving defence members across Australia.
In conjunction with Dandenong RSL they set out to purchase three ex-defence Landrovers and drive them from southernmost point of the Australian mainland – Wilson Promontory to the northernmost point at the tip of Cape York. This is one of several adventure activities Young Veterans organised throughout 2015, which raised funds and increased awareness of the contribution of our young veteran community
The Young Veterans engaged as many RSL sub branches as possible along the way and have had some great feedback.
They also visited schools, conducted presentations and set up catch ups with Sub-Branches about contemporary veteran issues as well as conducting a few other activities along the way to engage recently returned veterans and get them active within the RSL, whilst providing them with an outlet to meet with fellow young veterans.
Another recipient worthy of mention is Shabnam Safa. 21-year-old Shabnam Safa, was born in Afghanistan, raised as a refugee in Pakistan, and migrated to Australia in 2009. Shabnam has a passion in Martial Arts and serving her community, challenging traditional gender roles and norms within her Afghan community where female participation in extra curricular and non-educational activities isn’t greatly encouraged. Shabnam has been an Australia Day Study Tour recipient, was the 2012 Casey Youth Ambassador and promotes the importance of preserving Victoria’s marine environment.
In 2014 Shabnam founded the Noor Foundation that aims to assist migrants and refugees to make Australia their ‘home away from home’. Through the ‘Yana Program’ run by the Noor Foundation volunteers tutor new migrants so they can successfully pass their citizenship test.
“I congratulate all those receiving a Holt Australia Day Award for their exemplary community spirit and endless hours of volunteer work making our community a better and safer place to live. These people do not get the same acolades as celebraties in the media but in their own quiet Australian way they do tremendous work and make other people’s lives better’, said Mr Byrne.
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Senior Sergeant Phillip Byrne
Shami & Charlotte Jane Marandawela
Ron & Val Marshall
Sultan M Miakhal
Rev Dr David Powys
Rev Peter Roberts
Father Albert Yogarajah
Doveton North Cricket Club Committee
Islamic Education and Welfare Association of Dandenong
Lynbrook Residents Association
Meals on Wheels Cranbourne
Nanaksar Thaat Sikh Temple
National Servicemen’s Association of Australia
Young Veterans RSL