Visit My Electorate

Jun 6, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, was proud to win 3rd prize in the ‘Visit My Electorate’ national photographic competition run by the Tourism and Transport Forum in conjunction with Tourism Australia after submitting a photo of the Australian Garden at the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

As part of the ‘Visit My Electorate’ photo competition Anthony Byrne MP received a $1,000 prize to donate to a local charity or community group.

“I have decided to donate this funding to the Cranbourne Information Support Service for the amazing work Leanne Petrides and her staff do for the local community,’ said Mr Byrne.

“I encourage all Australians and all Victorians to come down and visit the iconic Cranbourne Botanic Gardens where you can witness the beautiful Australian Garden, as well as immerse yourselves in the native bushland that is home to an amazing range of native flora and fauna,’ said Mr Byrne.

The winning photos are:

· 1st Prize – Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Port Willunga Beach (Kingston, SA)
· 2nd Prize – Rick Wilson MP, Greens Pool William Bay National Park (O’Connor, WA)
· 3rd Prize – Hon Anthony Byrne MP, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne (Holt, VIC)

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Volunteer Grants 2016

May 28, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined Viv Paine, Christopher Morgan, Paul Graham, Vanessa Watson, Robin Dzedins from the Lynbrook Residents Association at the Banjo Paterson Reserve in Lynbrook to congratulate the group on receiving a $3,750 for a barbeque under the Volunteers Grants Program.

Under the Volunteer Grants Program 24 local organisations have been awarded funding. They will receive total funding of $100,857.

Volunteers play a critical role in helping shape our region and building stronger and more resilient communities. Their generosity permeates almost every aspect of Australian society; whether it be helping out local sporting clubs or land care groups, assisting our most disadvantaged, or helping recover from natural disasters.

The successful organisations will receive grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to purchase small equipment items, contribute towards the cost of training courses and background checks, and to help to reimburse volunteers for the cost of their fuel or transport.

“I wish to congratulate all the organisations that received Volunteer Grants this year, as each grant is vital to continue to support the work of volunteers in our local community,’ said Mr Byrne.

In Holt the following organisations received Volunteer Grants:

African Christian Kush Aid Program of Australia $4,500
Angel Light Link $2,626
Anglican Church of Australia Parish of Cranbourne $4,977
Care Africa $5,000
Casey Chinese Senior Support Group Inc. $5,000
Colman Education Foundation $3,130
Cranbourne West Primary School Parents & Friends Club $3,620
Doveton Baptist Benevolent Society Inc. $3,000
Doveton Football Club Inc. $4,200
Hampton Park Turkish Seniors Group Inc. $3,200
Lynbrook Residents Association Inc. $3,750
Magwi Development Agency Australia Victoria Branch Inc. $5,000
South Sudan Entertainment Kids Group $5,000
Dongo Lobo Woman Group $5,000
Acholi Kids and Mother Tongue Class Group $5,000
Mauritian Silver Edge Club Inc. $3,000
Narre Community Learning Centre Inc. $2,895
Narre Warren Christian Church Inc. $5,000
EI Hokamma Senior Citizens $4,200
The Association of Hazaras in Victoria Inc. $4,500
U3A Cranbourne Inc. $3,350
Women’s Friendship Cafe Hampton Park $5,000
Friendship Enterprise $5,000
Girl’s Friendship Club $4,909

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Headspace Narre Warren Visit

Apr 28, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, was joined by Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Mental Health; Simon Curtis, Labor Candidate for La Trobe & Jennifer Yang, Labor Senate Candidate for Victoria for a visit to Headspace Narre Warren.

Headspace Narre Warren staff provided an update on their service and the Headspace YEPP program, and emphasized how vital this service was for Casey’s youth.

Since the Summit on Youth Suicide in 2012 Anthony Byrne MP has led efforts to ensure two headspaces were built in Dandenong & Narre Warren.

During the visit to Headspace Narre Warren Senator Katy Gallagher outlined Labor’s plans to provide better support for people with a mental illness and action to prevent suicide in the lead up to next year’s Federal Election.

“Headspace Narre Warren has been of enormous benefit to Casey’s youth. However, after our briefing it appears as though the future of this facility is not being guaranteed. Since 2014 three lead agencies have managed or will manage Headspace Narre Warren. This has led to Headspace staff to be concerned about their future employment during each retendering process. It is vital we guarantee the future viability of Headspace Narre Warren for the long term,’ said Mr Byrne.

“It is also beyond comprehension that the Turnbull Government is cutting funding to the Youth Early Psychosis Program (YEPP) at Headspace Narre Warren. In 2016/17 there will be a 25 per cent budget cut to the YEPP program and in 2017-18 there will be a 70 per cent cut to the YEPP program by the Turnbull Government. In November 2015, the Southern Melbourne headspace YEPP treated 206 young people experiencing early psychosis and their families. Those numbers are continuing to rise, and it is expected that by June 2016, headspace YEPP will provide clinical care to over 600 clients. Reduction in the size of headspace YEPP or its closure will result in the disruption of current clinical care arrangements and impact young people and families adversely. Labor opposes these cuts and instead of making decisions that would leave vulnerable people without supports we would work with YEPP and the local Primary Health Network to deliver a coordinated service that meets the needs of young people in Casey living with mental illness,’ said Mr Byrne.

“As a local school teacher, I am directly aware of the enormous need for top quality Mental Health services in our community. It was young people in or community who lobbied so hard for a local Headspace. It is sad that the Turnbull Government has not been able to see the human story behind these heartless cuts. Anyone who underestimates the need for Mental Heath services in our local community is clearly out-of-touch. Only a year ago, Liberal MP Jason Wood, came here to Headspace Narre Warren for the official opening, now he wants to cut funding to the centre,’ said Mr Curtis.

“Wherever I go in Melbourne and Victoria, young people tell me that mental health is the biggest challenge facing the youth of today. In addition to early prevention mental health services, Headspace offers young people support and advice on general health issues, alcohol and drug services, education and employment. These are vital services that need to be adequately funded to ensure it continues to support young people in the long run. Unlike the Turnbull Government’s uncertainty on mental health funding, Labor is committed to delivering an integrated, cross-sector and whole of government mental health care system. Services such as Headspace play a critically important role in this process and it needs to be appropriately funded,’ said Ms Yang.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Holt Anzac Centenary Painting Presentation

Apr 22, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, was honoured to join Mr Bill Shepherd, Senior Vice President of the Dandenong/Cranbourne RSL Sub Branch and attend a special presentation of two of Zoe Panagiotopoulos paintings to Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie Honorary Consul-General of France at the Cranbourne RSL today, as her paintings will be showcased at the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers Bretonneux in 2018.

Last year the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show was held in the Mechanics Institute Hall, at 59 Webb St, Narre Warren.

This special Anzac Centenary Event was organised by Provenance Artists Inc. It showcased the finest Anzac Art from 30 local leading artists and was funded under the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Grants Program.

Last year at the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show we were delighted to be offered the opportunity to showcase two paintings at the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers Bretonneux. The two paintings chosen to be sent to the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers Bretonneux in 2018 are painted by Zoe Panagiotopoulos and are entitled ‘Somme Reverie’ & ‘God Speed’.

‘I wish to congratulate all the artists for their wonderful pieces of artwork commemorating the Anzac Centenary. In particular, I wish to congratulate Calvin Bell from Provenance Artists for holding the Holt Anzac Centenary Art Show last year, and congratulate Zoe Panagiotopoulos on her paintings being chosen to be sent to France to be displayed at the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers Bretonneux. Our local community has brilliant local artists and it is magnificent that their talent is being recognised in such a profound way,’ said Mr Byrne.

“We certainly believe that this display in France of works by Australian artists would honour the ANZACs who fought on the Western Front and further strengthen the links between our two countries,” said Mrs Boisbouvier-Wylie.

As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show all the paintings on display are in the process of being distributed for display by community organisations. Accordingly, any local community organisation or school that is interested in this unique opportunity to display local artwork, commemorating the Anzac Centenary, please contact Anthony Byrne MP’s office on (03) 9796 7533.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

National Youth Week 2016

Apr 15, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with the City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour students as part of National Youth Week 2016 last Friday.

National Youth Week (8-17 April 2016) is an annual, week-long celebration of young people (aged 12–25) throughout Australia.

National Youth Week is an event supported by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments and gives young people an opportunity to express their ideas and views, and act on issues that affect their lives. In 2015 more than 20,000 young people from across Victoria participated in National Youth Week activities.

This year Anthony Byrne MP was joined by City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour Students Georgia Coward-Smith, Shakila Husaini, Abdul Rahim Mohammed, Zachary Vogrig, Zoja Kovacs, Joshua Hoxha, Pooja Jeyadeva, Gul Ali, Anagha Ramachandra and Colette McMahon, Manager of Youth & Family Services at the City of Casey for a National Youth Week 2016 Event.

“At this year’s National Youth Week 2016 Event we had a brilliant discussion about the challenges & opportunities of social media and its impact on society. Young people are confronting many challenges in the social media age. It was great to hear from them about their concerns and their ideas such as more peer to peer youth services for schools and other areas,’ said Mr Byrne.

“Also given the feedback from our City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour Students I will organize a Forum with our students with social media giants Twitter, Google and Facebook. This forum will discuss the ongoing challenges and ideas for reform to better protect young people online when dealing with social media services,’ said Mr Byrne.

It will be the first time a forum of this type will be conducted in the Casey Region and is a direct outcome of Anthony Byrne MP’s consultations with the City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour Students.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour students – Visit the Australian Parliament

Mar 2, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with 2016 City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour students this week during their visit to the Australian Parliament in Canberra.

“I had a great discussion with a group of ten of Casey’s future leaders who were chosen by the City of Casey to be members of the Australia Day Study Tour this year. We discussed national security matters, the upcoming Local Youth Summit, mental health issues and the life of being a Federal Parliamentarian. These young leaders impressed me with their detailed thoughtful questions and their concerns for the community. Their parents and their community should be proud of them,” said Mr Byrne.

The City of Casey Australia Day Study Tour enables participating Year 11 students the opportunity to observe the workings of Local, State and Federal Government in Australia.

The Federal component of the tour is conducted over five days and features a three-day visit to Canberra where students meet Federal Members of Parliament, tour Parliament House, attend Question Time, and meet the Prime Minister.

This year’s members included:

Abdul Mohammed
Anagha Ramachandra
Georgia Coward-Smith
Gul Dasta Ali
Joshua Hoxha
Lachlan Iape
Pooja Jeyadeva
Shakila Husani
Zoya Kovacs
Zachary Vogrig

“I wish to congratulate the City of Casey on running this successful program on an annual basis and I look forward to further engagement with the study tour students during the year,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Saluting Their Service Grant Benefits the Merinda Park Learning & Community Centre

Feb 19, 2016

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Jan Gilchrist, Chief Executive Officer of the Merinda Park Learning & Community Centre, and local VCAL students to celebrate the centre receiving a $1,500 grant to install a flag pole under the Saluting Their Service Commerative Grant Program.

The Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program is designed to preserve Australia’s wartime heritage and to involve people throughout the nation in a wide range of projects and activities that highlight the service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in wars, conflicts and peace operations, and promote appreciation and understanding of the role that those who served have played in shaping the nation.

“It is a great honour to congratulate the Merinda Park Learning & Community Centre on receiving this grant, as the VCAL Students and community centre members will now be able to hold their own Anzac Day & Remembrace Day services at the centre in Cranbourne to acknowledge the service and sacrifice made by Australia’s servicemen and women,’ said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

2016 Holt Australia Day Awards

Jan 27, 2016

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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.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Award Recipients

Suz Arnott
Senior Sergeant Phillip Byrne
Jennifer Davis
Francine Dishon
Wendi Emmerson
Elsie Hoare
Tina Jom
Ron Lamb
Raisa Lashkariov
William Logan
Kevin Manning
Shami & Charlotte Jane Marandawela
Chris Marsh
Ron & Val Marshall
Sultan M Miakhal
Nerraj Nanda
Nivas Nivandhana
Daniel Phillips
Rev Dr David Powys
Tehana Ranatunga
Chantelle Riordan
Rev Peter Roberts
Nicole Ryan
Shabnam Safa
Tracey Scott
Shirley Smith
Judy Symons
Mark Titford
Doug Tucker
Kaushaliya Vaghela
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

2015 Holt Community Spirit & Leadership Awards

Dec 15, 2015

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41 students from 39 local schools were last night recognised at the 2015 Holt Community Spirit and Leadership Awards held at the Cranbourne Community Theatre.

The Awards ceremony, attended by over 200 people included award recipients, parents, teachers and family members was conducted by Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt.

“These awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by the students and the difference their hard work and dedication has made to their schools and the wider community,’ said Mr Byrne.

“On Monday night we heard outstanding stories of students going above and beyond to help others including from Chelsea Dodos from Dandenong Valley School. Chelsea is always eager to help out other students in the classroom with jobs that they find difficult and has spent some time helping and working with the students and teachers in the early intervention program. She has shown great leadership skills by taking initiative with group activities and taking responsibility for many different tasks in the classroom and around the school. Chelsea also takes the time to meet new people and enjoys working with volunteers at school and out in the community,’ said Mr Byrne.

“There were many other impressive stories including from Haley Kelly from Cranbourne West Primary School. Hayley is a year 4 student who is actively involved in numerous clubs at school and is always the first to offer help to others. She is a Choir Captain and a Ukulele Mentor. Hayley has also been assisting with the Cranbourne West Primary School Breakfast and Brunch Club since she was three years old. Hayley assisted in making the sandwiches and doing the dishes. Now Hayley co-ordinates the emergency lunch program,” said Mr Byrne.

‘Another example was Angelo Leaupepe from Hallam Senior College. Angelo is a promising athlete, receiving a rookie contract with the Melbourne Storm. Despite numerous setbacks and injuries, Angelo has excelled as an athlete and devoted his time to training hard and using his gifts and abilities to serve his school and community, all while managing his final year of schooling and VCE. Angelo has also lad the Hallam Senior College Touch Football and Rugby Union 7’s to state finals. This earned Angelo the School’s Sportsperson of the year award. In addition, Angelo has assisted in organizing school events such as the school’s Multi-cultural Day,’ said Mr Byrne.

“The Holt Community Spirit & Leadership Awards is in its 14th year and is run annually to celebrate the positive contributions young people have made in the local community,’ said Mr Byrne.

“It was a great honour to present these awards on behalf of the community. I am very proud of the local community and the inspirational efforts of our kids who are making our community a better place,’ said Mr Byrne.

All award recipients received a framed certificate and a Village Cinemas voucher.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

FULL LIST OF RECIPIENTS
Alkira Secondary College Nathanael Brindas
Casey Grammar School – Primary Tanysha Hogan
Casey Grammar School – Secondary Amber O’Donnell
Chalcot Lodge Primary School Kaelen MacKinnon
Coral Park Primary School Naomi Huynh
Courtney Gardens Primary School Layla Hargreaves
Cranbourne East Primary School Rhys Bryant
Cranbourne Park Primary School Anna Sorensen
Cranbourne Primary School Joel Miller
Cranbourne Secondary College Koro Sofaa
Cranbourne Secondary College Paige Sutherland
Cranbourne West Primary School Hayley Kelly
Dandenong Valley School Chelsea Dodos
Doveton College Judith Te’O
Fountain Gate Primary School Ataylia Melkic
Fountain Gate Secondary College Charlotte Mager
Gleneagles Secondary College Georgia Kristalyn
Hallam Primary School Nikitha Ramkumar
Hallam Senior College Angelo Leaupepe
Hampton Park Primary School Jasmin Crutchley
Hampton Park Secondary College Rebecca Wilson
James Cook Primary School Kaelan Lazaro
Kilberry Valley Primary School Teodora Bingula
Lynbrook Primary School Claudia Berke
Lyndhurst Primary School Ben Tawharu
Lyndhurst Secondary College Michael Stapleton
Marnebek School Cranbourne Daniel Woods
Mary MacKillop Primary School Alyssa Breeden
Mossgiel Park Primary School Shakelea Ringdahl
Narre Warren South P-12 College Adam Williams
Narre Warren South P-12 College Sitarah Mohammadi
Nossal High School Madeline Spooner
Rangebank Primary School Kayla Patrick
River Gum Primary School James Fisher
Southern Cross Primary School Safaa Rahmani
St Agatha’s Primary School Alana Manoj
St Catherine’s Primary School Keane Noronha
St Kevin’s Primary School Taylah Harvey
St Paul Apostle South Primary School Ben Abraham
Strathaird Primary School Joshua Jenkins
Thomas Mitchell Primary School Paris Dudfield.

Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing

Dec 7, 2015

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Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined by Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, met with staff from Headspace Narre Warren and Casey’s youth for a Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing at Headspace Narre Warren today.

At the Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing staff from Headspace Narre Warren provided an update on how their service was progressing and local young people were able to convey concerns and ideas about what else needs to be done to support young people suffering from a mental illness in the local community.

Since the Summit on Youth Suicide in 2012 Anthony Byrne MP has led efforts to ensure two headspaces were built in Dandenong & Narre Warren. But with a Casey youth population of over 60,000 people there is still more to do to assist young people in the local area.

At the briefing Senator Katy Gallagher also outlined some of Labor’s plans to provide better support for people with a mental illness and action to prevent suicide in the lead up to next year’s Federal Election.
Labor believes that long term mental health reform focused on delivering a more integrated, cross-sector and whole-of-government mental health care system must be a national priority but it requires national leadership.

Nearly one in five Australian adults will experience mental ill heath each year and nearly half of our adult population will experience a mental illness at some point during their lives.
On the spectrum of mental illness, around 65,000 people have a severe and persistent psychological disability; 625,000 people have a severe episodic illness with complex needs; and, another three million people will experience mild to moderate mental ill health each year.

Each year approximately 65,000 Australians attempt to take their own life. In 2012, over 2,500 people died from suicide, almost double the road toll.

Australia must deliver a system which is centred on early intervention and prevention as well as person-centred care and integrated support services for people living with mental illness.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

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