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

Feb 19, 2016


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


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


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.

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


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.

Local Student with a Bright Future

Oct 6, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, today met with Andrew Leong a local Monash University student who recently completed his PhD and his father & community leader Ni Tec Leong. Andrew was recently awarded a prestigious position as a post-doctoral researcher at John Hopkins University in Maryland in the United States of America.

Andrew Leong is a distinguished student. His PhD addressed one of the leading causes of death among Australians – respiratory diseases (for instance, lung cancer, emphysema and cystic fibrosis).

“Many of these respiratory diseases can be successfully treated if detected early. However, our current diagnostic techniques are inadequate in early detection of such diseases. The aim of my PhD project was to develop more sensitive diagnostic techniques that were also safe for the patient. As a physicist, I collaborated with engineers and physiologists to develop these techniques. Currently, we are testing the techniques in advanced facilities; including the Australian Synchrotron and SPring-8 in Japan,” said Mr Leong.

“I was recently awarded a position as a post-doctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland for up to 5 years. I will be collaborating with many teams, one of them being the Defense Threat Reduction Agency who are responsible for countering weapons of mass destruction. My specific project is to study the damage induced on materials under different extreme circumstances such as missile attacks and earthquakes. The knowledge gained from this will help improve the design of buildings and vehicles in withstanding such extreme circumstances,’ said Mr Leong.

“Andrew Leong is a talented young physicist with a bright future. He is a wonderful example of a young man from our area making his mark on the world stage. I am very proud that he will be working at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world. I wish Andrew all the best on his future journey and I look forward to hearing reports on his research and his achievements,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Government to continue Inborn Error of Metabolism Programme

Aug 5, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP today met with wonderful mums Wendi and Tracey and their sons Reef & Harrison to celebrate the Federal Government’s decision that will continue funding of $250 per month for the Inborn Error of Metabolism (IEM) Programme.

Over the past few months parents across Australia like Wendi & Tracey have led a successful community campaign to ensure they maintained their $250 per month IEM Grant to financially support them in continuing to purchase strict low protein products for their children who suffer from the Inborn Error of Metabolism disorder.

In the Budget 2015 the Abbott Government decided to finish the IEM Programme on 31 December 2015, as a $11.7 million budget saving measure but it would have increased the cost of living pressures on families with children suffering from IEM.

“I am so proud of the local community campaign led by Wendi Emmerson and Tracey Scott who as parents continue to go above and beyond in looking after their children Reef and Harrison but who need financial support to purchase the strict low protein products for their children. I welcome Minister Sussan Ley’s decision to continue the IEM Programme but I wish to point out that it should not have been cut in the first place. Children like Reef and Harrison have a unique condition, which should automatically result in Government support. I will continue to campaign to ensure this IEM Grant remains a permanent feature in the Federal Health Budget in the years ahead,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Anzac Centenary – “Compassion In War” – Australia & Turkey’s Enduring Friendship

Jul 14, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP today met with Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne with a painting from the recent Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show, which took place on 4-5 July 2015 in Narre Warren.

As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir was invited by Provenance Artists Inc to attend and he was deeply moved by a painting entitled “Compassion In War” by Gabriele Jenkins depicting an Australian soldier sharing a drink from a mug with a Turkish Solider at Gallipoli in World War I.

Recognising the sacrifice made by both Australian and Turkish soldiers at Gallipoli and endeavouring to symbolise the deep connection between the Australian and Turkish people Anthony Byrne MP determined to donate this special painting to the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne.

“I am deeply honoured to meet with the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the “Compassion In War” painting on behalf of the local community to the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne. The first military encounter of Turkey and Australia was on the battlefields of Çanakkale (Galliopli) and this created a bond of mutual respect, admiration and close friendship that has endured for the last 100 years,” said Mr Byrne.

The warm sentiments between Turkish and Australian nations were best voiced in the message of the Great Turkish Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was sent to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934 and is as follows: “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

“This painting is a recognition of Australia’s close friendship with Turkey. With over 60,000 Turkish Australians now living in our country we are keen to build on our friendship in the years to come,’ said Mr Byrne.

As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show all the paintings on display will be donated back to the community after the art show. Any school, sporting group, community group or other organisation in Holt that is interested in an Anzac Centenary commemorative painting to be displayed in their facility should contact Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Tax Help in Holt

Jul 7, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, and Tax Help Volunteer Tina Jom are reminding residents that the Tax Help Program in Holt will be starting on Monday 3rd August 2015 and running until the end of October 2015.

Tax Help is a program run in partnership with the Australian Taxation Office to assist people on a limited income to complete their tax returns. Tax Help is suitable for people earning $50,000 or less a year with tax returns.

“Completing a tax return can be quite a stressful process for many people. I would encourage eligible people to take advantage of this free service that aims to make their lives easier. Our office has already had many enquires this year because our Tax Help volunteer Tina Jom provides such a great service,’ said Mr Byrne.

If you need assistance with completing your tax return this year then please sign up for the free Tax Help program by calling the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 or contacting one of the three local Tax Help Centres directly. Please see below for the contact details of the three Tax Help Centres in Holt.

Tax Help Centres in or near Holt

1. Anthony Byrne MP’s Electorate Office

Shop HM 2B 8-10 Overland Drive Fountain Gate VIC 3805.
To make an appointment please call: (03) 9796 7533

2. Casey North Community & Information Support Service

Suite 1, 90-92 Victor Cres Narre Warren 3805 VIC
To make an appointment please call: (03) 9705 6699

3. Cranbourne Information & Support Service

156 Sladen Street Cranbourne VIC 3977
To make an appointment please call: (03) 5996 3333

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show – 4-5 July 2015

Jun 15, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP last week caught up with Calvin Bell from Provenance Artists Inc to promote and invite the local community to attend the upcoming Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show on 4-5 July 2015 at the Mechanics Institute Hall, 59 Webb St, Narre Warren from 10am-5pm each day. Cost: Adults $5, Students $2 & veterans complimentary.

“I wish to congratulate Mr Calvin Bell and all the members from Provenance Artists Inc for organising this wonderful event that will showcase the finest Anzac Art from 30 local leading artists, which was funded under the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Sky News Interview with Laura Jayes – 1 June 2015

Jun 2, 2015

Sky News Interview with Laura Jayes about National Security matters and the proposed Citizenship laws.


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