Boost for Volunteers in Holt

Oct 6, 2011

Local community organisations in Holt are among 4,600 across Australia to benefit from the Volunteer Grants initiative.

Across Holt, 24 organisations will share in $85,000 to support the work of their volunteers.

The Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne said this investment is about delivering much-needed support to local volunteers.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our community,” Anthony Byrne said.

“The Volunteer Grants will support a range of local groups such as Narre Warren Mechanics Institute and Hampton Park Networking Association.

“Volunteers at these organisations are great examples of the ongoing efforts of volunteers in our area, especially those that enrich our community networks.

“They will receive a grant of between $1000 and $5000 to contribute to their volunteers’ fuel costs and purchase much-needed equipment such as First Aid Kits and BBQs.

“The Federal Government values the enormous contribution volunteers make and this funding will help ease the financial pressure on community organisations in Holt.

To find out more about Volunteer Grants 2011 visit or call
1800 183 374.

Media Enquires: John Paul Grima (03) 97967533

Good beginnings for Doveton kids

Sep 23, 2011

Federal Memberfor Holt Anthony Byrne welcomed the Government’s $2.6M investment over three years to continue fifteen support services for at risk families and children across Holt.

Good beginnings in Doveton is one of fifteen family support programs across Holt that are sharing the funding allocation provided by the Government for the next three years

“With this funding, local service providers are able tocontinue providing vital support to the local community through GoodBeginnings in Doveton,” said Anthony Byrne

“It was great to speak with the parents, and coordinators at Good beginnings to see first-hand the great work being done here.”

“We know that their work is having a positive impact on the lives of local people.”

The Family Support Program provides services in over 2,200 locations across Australia to support families, improve children’s wellbeing and safety, and build more resilient communities.

Community organisations around the country receive funding to deliver important services such as parenting skills training, relationship counselling and family law services.

Local organisations have had their contracts renewed for three years, giving them greater certainty and allowing them to focus less on paperwork and more on providing essential support services.

The new Family Support Program provides more intensive support for vulnerable and at-risk children and families.

Jodie White, Victorian State corodinator for Good Beginnings welcomed the funding.

“The three year Family Support Program funding is welcome stability which will enable Good Beginnings in Doveton to continue to improve outcomes for children and families in the area,” said Ms White.

Lyndhurst Secondary Rewarded for Outstanding Anzac Day Commemorations

Sep 1, 2011


Lyndhurst Secondary College has been named the Victorian Secondary School Winner in the Australian Government’s 2011 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards. Lyndhurst Secondary were one of only 18 schools around the country to be awarded.

Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne congratulated Lyndhurst Secondary on its excellent achievement saying the annual awards are a great way for schools to showcase their initiatives in honouring the service and sacrifice of our veterans and current serving members each Anzac Day.

Lyndhurst Secondary received a commemorative plaque, and an award which includes $1000 in prize money in recognition of the school’s exceptional entry in this year’s awards. Receiving the award on behalf of the school was Nicole Scott.

The awards are funded under the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorations program.

The outstanding entry featured a wide variety of learning activities that included writing letters to ex-students who are currently serving in the Australian Defence Force, a visit to the Shrine of Remembrance and a talk from a member of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Victoria.

The year 11 students also organised a respectful and traditional Anzac Day service with guests from Cranbourne RSL.

“Congratulations to Lyndhurst Secondary College for your efforts in this year’s Anzac Day Schools’ Awards. Your entry displayed a strong connection with past and present members of the Australian Defence Force,” Anthony Byrne said.

The event was particularly significant for Year 12 house Captain Jayden Lynch-Cooper, who plans on joining the Australian Defence Force Academy next year.  Jayden presented the Ode for the ANZAC ceremony and helped the Year 7’s write letters of support to active members of the defence force.

“Was great to see people from all walks of life at the ceremony, including Veterans who have demonstrated the colourful aspects of service life.”

Manmeet Kaur, School Captain said that the ceremony was a very patriotic one.  “Learning about the significance of Anzac Day is very important.  This award is great for Lyndhurst Secondary.”

“I would encourage all our local schools to consider sharing how they honour our past and present servicemen and women and enter next year’s Anzac Day Schools’ Awards,” said Anthony Byrne.

For more information visit the commemorations section of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website

Media Enquires: John Paul Grima (03) 97967533

Anthony teams up with Laurie Lawrence to offer families free Water Safety DVD

Aug 22, 2011

With the weather starting to get warmer, the Federal Labor Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne has joined with legendary swimming coach Laurie Lawrence promoting the important Kids Alive Do the Five water safety message.

“I encourage all parents of young children to contact my office and get their hands on a copy of this free water safety DVD.

“This is a great program that literally saves kid’s lives. Now is the perfect time to be making sure our children learn the important Kids Alive do the Five water safety message,” said Anthony Byrne. 

Drowning is the biggest cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia.

Anthony Byrne said that the work Laurie Lawrence has done through the Kids Alive project over nearly quarter of a century is nothing short of inspirational.

“It’s great to be able to team up with Anthony and offer every local parent this free DVD,” said Laurie Lawrence.

“Owning a swimming pool is a big responsibility. Pool owners must ensure that their pool is fenced and complies with local government legislation” said Mr Lawrence. 

“And every local parent should grab a copy of the DVD from Anthony’s office and make sure their children are doing the five” said Mr Lawrence.

Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive Do the Five are:

  1. Fence the pool
  2. Shut the gate
  3. Teach your kids to swim – it’s great
  4. Supervise – watch your mate, and
  5. Learn how to resuscitate

Copies of the DVD can be obtained by calling Anthony Byrne’s Office on 97967533 or emailing [email protected]

For further information on Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive Do the Five water safety program, visit

Families from Holt successful in National Policy Change

Aug 3, 2011

Federal Member for Holt welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to extend eligibility for Carer’s Allowance for carers of children with Type 1 Diabetes aged up to the age of 16.

“This announcement is a testament to those families, particularly from this community and organisations includingThe Leader that were willing to raise public awareness of Type 1 diabetes so effectively.

“I congratulate these families who shared their experiences with me on a number ofoccasions. Thanks to people like Tess Macartney and other local children with this condition (pictured), this campaign has been an overwhelming success.

“These kids have effectively helped shape national policy in this area and I amextremely proud of them.

“Meeting with Tess Macartney two years ago when she had just been diagnosed and with other children with this condition throughout this campaign reinforced that growing up with diabetes is extremely difficult. They have to deal with things other children don’t, such as regular insulin injections and carefully watching what they eat,” said Mr Byrne.

Today’s change recognises that Type 1 Diabetes is a life long condition for which there is currently no cure, and provides parents and carers with recognition and financial support for the care they provide.

Type 1 Diabetes requires complex management and treatment that can be difficult for older children and adolescents to manage.

Carers of children with Type 1 Diabetes who are already receiving Carer Allowance (child) do not need to act – Centrelink will amend their status to ensure payments do not cease at the age of 10. 

Carers of children with Type 1 Diabetes aged more than 10 years will have their payments backdated to 1 July 2011 if they had a Carer Allowance Health Care Card at that date.  Carers eligible for payment back to 1 July 2011 will also receive the Carer Supplement of up to $600 and the Child Disability Assistance Payment of up to $1000.

100 Reasons to Celebrate!

Jun 29, 2011

Cranbourne resident, Edna Vivian Mary Paterson will turn 100 on the 3rdof July.

In recent weeks, Edna has received congratulatory messages from the Queen, the Prime Minister, and the Governor General.

Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne also presented Edna with a congratulatory certificate over a cuppa at her Cranbourne residency. It was an opportunity todiscuss Edna’s extraordinary life and times.

“On behalf of the Holt community, I congratulate Mrs Paterson on achieving this significant milestone and dearly hope her good health, love of sport and sense of humor continue for many years to come,” Anthony said.

Edna, whose descendants migrated from Denmark and Ireland in the early 1800’s said she lived a happy life and emphasised the importance of family on her longevity. 

“We always had great family get-togethers, particularly at Christmas and Easter and these were the most joyous of occasions,” Edna recalled.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               She will celebrate her birthdayat Amstel Golf Course this weekendwith an estimated 75 guests including her six children, fifteen grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, along with other relatives, friends and carers.

“I encourage Holt residents to contact my office if they or their family and friends are celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary and wish to organise a congratulatory message from the Prime Minister, Governor General or the Queen,” Anthony Byrne said.

For further information on congratulatory messages please contact Anthony Byrne on (03) 9796 7533.

Anthony Byrne applauds inspirational constituents

Jun 22, 2011


Mr BYRNE (Holt) (19:24): I rise tonight to pay tribute to two very special constituents and their extraordinary efforts in raising public awareness for their respective causes. One of the most rewarding things about being an MP is having the opportunity of meeting inspirational people dedicated to their cause—people like Tess Macartney and Anne Atkin.

I first met Tess Macartney and her mother, Mairi-Anne, when Tess had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a 10-year-old. Following her diagnosis, Tess became a youth ambassador for diabetes and had the opportunity to describe her experience of being diagnosed with diabetes and the life changes and challenges that occurred after this diagnosis. As a youth ambassador she conducted fundraising at her local school and was part of the Remember Me campaign, which in part raised awareness about child diabetes and funding to help find a cure for this debilitating condition.

Tess has now become the face of another campaign, which has been raising awareness of carers allowance eligibility for carers of children with type 1 diabetes. The government has sought an independent review to ensure that a decision includes consideration of submissions by affected families as well as community and medical representatives. I commend Tess's and her mother's strong stance on this important issue and the widespread community support that they have received, most notably from the local Leader newspaper, which has established a Facebook group and raised public awareness of this issue by documenting week by week the challenges of everyday families in this situation. This is a tough time for the Macartney family and others in their situation, but their efforts in raising public awareness about diabetes are a tribute to their courage and their strength.

I now wish to pay tribute to another very special person, Anne Atkin, a very special member of the local community. Anne recently published a book entitled Living and Laughing with Parkinson's, which, in a witty, uncomplicated and moving way, provides an understanding of the major life changes that occurred to Anne and her loved ones both prior to and after her being diagnosed with Parkinson's. Anne was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 55. Since then she has worked tirelessly and passionately to promote awareness of Parkinson's in the broader community and to help those battling the disease. In particular, she has discovered and passed on to others the remarkable remedial benefits that artistic expression—in particular, painting—has had on her condition.

As a dedicated teacher in her earlier life, Anne has an obvious passion for teaching and helping inspire others to self-development. Anne believes you can fight to have a life with Parkinson's disease, so she founded Painting with Parkinson's in Victoria, which includes coordinating a group of members who suffer from Parkinson's disease—affectionately termed by Anne as 'fellow parkies'. Through her leadership of the group, Anne helps others experience the transformation that occurred with her own life, passing on this unique painting therapy which has had a profound effect on sufferers' confidence, creativity and wellbeing.

Through her encouragement of self-discovery, Anne has empowered countless other sufferers of Parkinson's to regain their lives and reconnect with the community. Anne has established Painting with Parkinson's classes in Portland, Shepparton and Melton. As an ambassador for Parkinson's Victoria, she travels to all three locations regularly to provide support and encouragement and also to carry out a study for Parkinson's Victoria on behalf of this particular group. Anne has organised art exhibitions where the wider community is invited to view the artwork and learn about Parkinson's, often dispelling common myths and stereotypes in the process.

Anne actively contributes and collaborates with neurologists and neuropsychiatrists to broaden fields of academic research and to recognise the healing properties of artistic expression on Parkinson's and

mental illness. Recently Anne's achievements have become internationally recognised. The World Parkinson Congress selected Anne to contribute her ideas to international Parkinson's exhibitions. Anne was one of four from Australia to do so. In 2009 Anne was also rewarded for her efforts by receiving an award for services to people with a disability through the arts by the City of Casey via its volunteer awards.

This book I am holding here, Living and Laughing with Parkinson's, is an amazing book. Anne said she wrote the book because she would have liked to read something like it when she was in the early days of her diagnosis—something that was not too heavy and not too light but, as the ad goes, just right. This book is really illuminating. It is divided into sections on the symptoms of Parkinson's and how to deal with those symptoms. It is an incredible book. It is written by someone with extraordinary courage. I will have the great honour of launching it this Saturday. For those people who can buy this book to learn more about Parkinson's, please do. It is an incredible tribute to an absolutely incredible woman.

Holt Remembers our ANZACs on the 96th Anniversary of Gallipoli

Apr 25, 2011

Federal Member for Holt, Anthony Byrne attended a moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Narre Warren Cenotaph and attended the Cranbourne ANZAC Day March.

 “As a nation we honour those who have served, and continue to serve our country and we especially remember the more than 102,000 who gave their lives serving our country.

“Even though it has been 96 years since the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli, the ANZAC ideals of courage, determination and mateship have carried through to today’s Australian Defence Force.”

Anthony Byrne said ANZAC Day is an important time for young Australians to learn about the significance of the day and its defining role in our wartime history.

“Taking part in local commemorations is an important way to honour the men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our country,” Anthony Byrne said.

Anthony Byrne MP has spoken in Parliament about the Holi Festival celebration at the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple

Mar 23, 2011


Mr BYRNE (Holt) (7.22 pm)—I rise tonight to speak about a very noteworthy event that I attended in the vicinity of my electorate of Holt.  It was my great honour to participate in the annual the Holi festival last Saturday at the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs. I celebrated this event with many members of parliament, including the Leader of the Opposition in the Victorian parliament, Daniel Andrews. All of us were struck by the beauty of the temple, which is surely one of the most beautiful and ornate places of worship in Australia.

The Holi festival is an ancient festival which celebrates the victory of good over evil with the help of the divine. It also celebrates the triumph of devotion. These are universal ideals that are especially relevant in light of the many natural disasters the world has suffered over the past few months. I think it is useful for all of us, regardless of our religious background, to strengthen our faith and renew our commitment to each other. What I experienced everywhere around me on that day was the faith and commitment of the Hindu community and the rich traditions on display: the burning of sandlewood and the bright colours on people’s faces and clothing, placed there with laughter and with love, are just some of the traditions that were celebrated and revered. I believe that celebrations like this enhance us all. One of the great triumphs of the Australian experience is to allow people from every corner of the earth to make this place their home, to share their cultures with their fellow Australians and to do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect and shared understanding. That belief was reinforced for me by many from the non-Hindu community who also attended the event and revelled in it, sharing the experience in a spirit of happiness, understanding, mutual respect and shared commitment—values which make this country the best place on earth to establish and build a future, regardless of race, colour or creed.

The Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, where the Holi festival took place last Saturday, is one of the biggest traditional Hindu temples in the southern hemisphere and it has existed since 1994. The temple runs Hinduism classes, encourages the use of the HSV library, organises religious and spiritual lectures and workshops, and, importantly for the community, hosts events that recognise significant important Hindu festivals such as the Holi festival. The temple has its place among major temples all over the world. The vision, the dedication, the courage and the spirit of the Hindu community of Victoria gave the people of Victoria a priceless and everlasting legacy in the form of this truly magnificent temple. It is shared with the rest of the community and is accessible to the rest of the community, and it is meant to be so. This unique temple transcends time barriers to remain an icon symbolising the contribution of the Hindu community to the Australian community as a whole. Mention of the temple would be imperfect without the mention of hundreds of volunteers who sacrificed their time and worked with missionary zeal to create and construct this edifice.  I am always pleased to be asked to attend events of this nature, because to me they emphasise what makes Australia a great community. I am proud of and wish to recognise the role played by the Indian, Sri Lankan and other Hindu communities who came to Australia and made it their home.

It is often said that when the Catholics came to Australia they built their churches; and in building the churches they sunk their roots into the community and made the community their home. This is exactly what is happening with the Hindu community as well as more recently arrived communities. When you look at the temple and you see the spirit of the people who were sharing in that particular festivity, and you see how other people can share their experiences at the same time—and thousands of people attended this event—I think it says a lot about our very unique place in the world and the fact that we can attract people from other parts of the world and make them feel part of our community but also share in our community. I wish to congratulate the committee of management that were involved in organising this event: Mr Vijeyakumar, Dr Anavekar, Mr Thanikasalam, Mr Mahendran, Mr Wickiramasingham and many others involved in organising the Holi festival. We are aware that there have been push-and-pull factors involved in these people coming to this country. But the fact is that everyone that I saw at that event who was sharing their history and their culture was proud to be Australian and proud that the event was making Australia the rich and dynamic culture and country that it is.

Anthony Byrne MP honours 40 Australia Day Award recipients

Jan 26, 2011

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt honoured 35 outstanding individuals and 5 local organisations for their contribution to our community on Australia Day.

 The 2011 Holt Australia Day Awards were presented at the Day of Nations celebrations in Hampton Park and at the Actively Diverse celebrations in Doveton, with a large crowd of families and friends turning out to support the recipients.

 “Australia Day provides a special opportunity to recognise our unsung heroes, many of whom have made substantial contributions to our community often in an understated way,” said Anthony Byrne MP.

The 2011 Holt Australia Day Awards were also an opportunity to recognise the invaluable efforts of Anthony Bickham of Endeavour Hills, who bravely rushed into a burning house to help a woman and her daughter escape safely.  Anthony’s quick actions have earned high praise and he is now seen by many people to be a local hero.

Also amongst the Award Recipients was Gerry Ryan OAM, the founder of Jayco Corporation in Australia, and founding Chairman of the Visy Cares Centre in Dandenong, which continues to provide an integrated and comprehensive range of youth support services in Melbourne’s rapidly expanding Outer South East Region.

“I congratulate all those receiving a Holt Australia Day Award for their exemplary community spirit, generous contributions and endless hours of volunteer work making our community a better and safer place to live."

Award Recipients – Hampton Park

· Anne Haylock

· Barbara Fay Maggs & Anthony David Jenner

· Bill Bradshaw

· Cathy Smith

· Charmaine Sime

· Cranbourne & Hampton Park Greek Senior Citizens Club

· Erica Maliki

· Endeavour Industries

· Gerry Ryan

· Gwenda Clough

· Joseph Bertram Dias

· Larraine Calder

· Warren Calder

· Madison Pritchett

· Mike Herbert

· Monica Deayton

· Patricia Kimtia

· Peter Cutting

· St Vincent De Paul – Berwick Soup Van

· Wendy Saunders

Award Recipients – Doveton

· Anthony Bickham

· Benjamin Hofmann

· Bob Coldwell

· Bruce Gower

· Dave Canham

· David Boyde

· Faizullah Aschna

· Gail Bell

· Geoffrey Lacey

· Jan Hudson

· Karyan Ng

· Kevin Clark

· Kumaran Shanmugasamy

· Laurise Sonnberger

· Lynda Beddoe

· Radoslav Gudelj

· Shirley Seskis

· Timor Ethnic Chinese Community Victoria

· VICSES Narre Warren Unit Volunteers


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