Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, honoured 28 outstanding individuals and seven local organisations for their contribution to our community on Australia Day.
The 2017 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 2017 Holt Australia Day Awards were an opportunity to recognise people like Leonard O’Brien. Len joined Narre Warren Bowls Club on the 9th September 1999 upon his retirement due to deteriorating eyesight.
Upon joining the club Len soon became one of the Club’s most active volunteers. On bowls day’s Len is always there setting up the greens, putting out the mats, jacks, rakes, scoreboards, Flags, umpires kit and all the other equipment that everyone else tends to forget about for the day’s play. After completing his outside duties Len then proceeds to fill the urn, setup tables & chairs, makes sure that the toilets are clean, with adequate toilet rolls, paper hand towels, sun block and hand soap.
Len considers it one of his many duties to walk some considerable distance from home to the club to make sure that the rubbish/re-cycling bins are emptied & put out for council collection.
ln 2000 Len joined Blind Bowls Victoria and in his first year Len entered the Victorian Blind Bowls Championships, representing Victoria in the Australian Blind Bowls Championships.
Len has represented Victoria in every Championship since.
Also amongst the Award Recipients were the Cranbourne Library. The Cranbourne Library in partnership with the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation launched a ‘Forgiving Tree’ initiative last year that delivered much needed resources for local charities in the lead up to Christmas.
In its first year ever, the initiative of the library to forgive book fines and other fees in exchange for a donation to the libraries’ ‘Forgiving Tree’ raised More than $15,000 for local charities. Each of the libraries under the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation banner chose a local charity to partner with and passed on the community’s donations so those less fortunate could enjoy a decent Christmas.
Cranbourne Library partnered with the Cranbourne Information and Support Service (CISS) who provide services and referrals to the Cranbourne community. Furthermore, almost $18,000 worth of lost items were returned and just over $8000 worth of fines and fees were paid back rather than forgiven for a donation. Cranbourne Library Staff Wendy Morrison & Sue Sleet and Casey Cardinia Library Corporation CEO Chris Buckingham were instrumental in making the ‘Forgiving Tree’ initiative a success that has greatly benefited the Cranbourne Community.
Another recipient was Destanee Aiava who captured people’s imagination across the country by playing in the Australian Open 2017 as a 16 year old from Narre Warren. As a junior Destanee was involved in the Serious Tennis program run by Justin Yeo in Doveton. In 2012 as a 12 year old Destanee became an international star by winning the Longines Future Tennis Aces Tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. Her prize was an opportunity to hit with 22-time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf.
Sixteen players from around the world converged on the clay vying for the under 13 title and it was great to see twelve-year old Destanee from Narre Warren win the fourth edition of the future tennis aces tournament back in 2012.
This year Destanee broke on to the world stage and broke a record that nobody born in this millennium can match. The 16-year-old Destanee Aiava advanced through qualifying before becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win a main draw match at an elite WTA event, beating veteran American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a first-round match at the Brisbane International.
Destanee also competed in the first round of the Australian Open. She has become a star of the future and has inspired many other juniors tennis players and many locals in Narre Warren.
“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.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533
African Australia Women’s Group
Denver De Rozario
Ven. Digamadulle Wimalananda
Doveton Salvation Army Thrift Shop
Endeavour United Soccer Club
Islander’s Creole Club
Jodie Ann Bedford
Lyndhurst Football Netball Club
Serbian Cultural Club
Leeanne Browning (In Memorium)