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Australia Day Awards nominees 2018

We congratulate all nominees to Maroondah’s Australia Day Awards.

Community Event of the Year

Bounce into Mental Health Day Carnival

The Ringwood Secondary College Bounce into Mental Health Day Carnival increased awareness of support services available through the school, the local community and those available online and via phone that can be accessed by young people. The event recognised and acknowledged the differences in students cultures, beliefs and religions and celebrated the differences through information sharing, stalls and activities. 

Croydon U3A Variety Concert and Exhibition

U3A Croydon Inc (University of the Third Age) is a voluntary organisation providing numerous educational classes and activities for retired and semi-retired members of the Maroondah and eastern region communities. The annual concert was the culmination of many hours of practice and planning by our class members in order to present a variety of music and dance performances.

Heathmont Sketchbook Launch

Heathmont Sketchbook features 35 sites in Heathmont with a sketch and historical text on each site. The sketches were drawn by 35 local community members, who vary from professionals to primary school students. Most of these attended the Sunday afternoon launch, where their original sketches were displayed. The launch was attended by The Hon David Harper AM, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a Heathmont resident and son of John and Joan Harper, very prominent local past residents.

Maroondah Relay for Life

The Maroondah Relay for Life is an overnight, community event held annually in the City of Maroondah, which has raised over $1,000,000 for Cancer Council Victoria (over the 7 years that it has operated). Although there are relay for life events held right across the country, each is unique. The Maroondah event brings participants of all ages together, to walk the track relay style, whilst raising funds for the Cancer Council and raising awareness of their support programs and ways to reduce individual risk of cancer.

The event attracts teams from all parts of the community - schools, emergency services, local businesses and residents, who come together for the common goal of putting an end to cancer.

Young Citizen of the Year

Eliza Allen

In 2017, Eliza applied and was successful in being chosen to participate in Maroondah City Council’s Student Wellbeing Action Teams (SWAT). Through the program, Eliza has expanded on her leadership skills and gained a solid understanding of wellbeing and how that impacts on Maroondah’s young people. Eliza, alongside three other students from her school, took this knowledge and delivered a wellbeing project within their school which looked at understanding the needs of the students when transitioning through year levels.

Eliza stepped up as leader of this project and it was completed in her own time. Four out of the five recommendations proposed by students were taken up by the leadership team at Tintern and will now be incorporated into the school’s transition program.

Zenhuaikim Kawngte

Zenhuaikim is a refugee from Burma who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and sheer passion in helping her community. One of her main goals is to assist young people to understand different services in Australia. Zenhuaikim believes knowledge is power and works really hard to increase the knowledge of young people regarding services and systems in Australia.

Starting her mission within her church’s youth Sunday school, Zenhuaikim developed a program that teaches different things about Australia to newly arrived refugee youth. She is also involved with many youth projects conducted by her community and was a part of a short video project last year, which has reached a large audience.

Georgia Read

Georgia continues to make significant contributions to, not only Ringwood Secondary College (RSC), but the wider Maroondah community. Within the context of the RSC community Georgia has supported and instructed junior students on cyber safety and she chairs weekly meetings of ‘leads stand out’, and has also supported the RSC Bounce into Mental Health Day Carnival.

Georgia has also volunteered at Interchange Outer East where she supports young people with disabilities. She runs activities for Glue Zone, a weekly program designed to encourage all students to socialise with their peers and assists in the development of the Maroondah Youth Service program SAGAA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Alliance) and she is a member of the New Community Church where she volunteers as a childcare and disability worker.

Phoebe Roach

Phoebe’s contributions to both the Ringwood Secondary College (RSC) community and Maroondah have been vast and ongoing. In year 7 Phoebe began her leadership journey by volunteering as a Year 7 workshop leader for teaching online safety. She has presented to countless students on wellbeing issues including the year 9’s on body image; years 7-11 on respectful relationships; and year 9s on transitioning to year 10.

Phoebe has also done a great deal for the local community including: working with the Maroondah Student Wellbeing Action Team; tutoring English as an additional language (EAL) to primary students; representing Ringwood Secondary College at the #girltakeover day; and Australia’s first adobe youth presenter on racial diversity.

Citizen of the Year

Ian Birchall

The Croydon Chess Club has grown every year from its start in 2005 in the Eastern Region.

Most years the Club has needed to move to new locations to cater for the expansion of the junior club program. The popularity of chess in the school curriculum and after hours school program has assisted the growth, however without the outstanding service of  people such as Ian Birchall, who offers his service to the club on a volunteer basis, there would be no where else for these children to go locally to enhance their chess knowledge.

Sue Dymond

Sue is a single mum of a 26 year old daughter who has Down Syndrome. Sue has written a book about their journey to help others in similar situations.

Not satisfied with just writing a book and being on many boards, she decided to create a charity to help people with a disability and their families become naturally included in their local communities –breaking down isolation and creating social change.

Dr Graeme Lorimer

In 2018 Dr Graeme Lorimer will be acknowledged for 30 years of volunteer service to Maroondah City Council. This time has encompassed tireless work as coordinator of the Friends of Bungalook Conservation Reserve in Kilsyth South, and guardian of the critically endangered Kilsyth South Spider-Orchid (Caladenia sp. aff. venusta (kilsyth south)) – probably the rarest plant species on earth with a current known wild population size of one lone plant.

He was instrumental in the creation of the Bungalook Conservation Reserve in the 1980s when the land was subdivided for residential development. He lobbied the Council to purchase two blocks of land at the end of Tereddan Drive, as well as instigating Trust for Nature’s purchase of an adjoining block to the north. When a bush block adjoining the reserve came up for sale in 2009, he again engaged with Maroondah City Council for its purchase.

Adana Marchione

Adana is the current President and has been a committee member of the Croydon School of Dance for over 10 years.

Adana has been the strong leader in driving a small dance school to become one of the prominent dance communities in the Maroondah area, as well as arranging the use of Maroondah community halls, such as Arrabri and Wyreena. Her legal understanding, business acumen and creative ideas have made dancing at the Croydon School of Dance a very positive, fun and rewarding experience for families with children looking to use the creative expression that dance offers for their child to enjoy and grow.

Janet McMenamin

Jan’s contribution to the community is predominantly through Girl Guides, an organisation that she devotes much of her life to and strongly lives by the values of. Jan has recently stepped down from her long term role as District Manager and she has become the fundraising coordinator, working tirelessly to build good relationships within the community to benefit not only the Girl Guides but anyone else in Maroondah and surrounds.

She is an ambassador for the Blackburn Bursary, a fund within Girl Guides that supports families to pay membership fees when they have multiple girls involved in guiding and she is a member of a team that keeps the local campsite, Britannia Park in Yarra Junction, maintained for use.

Helen Parker

When Helen Parker realised, aged 20, that she was pregnant, the situation felt like a crisis. Mid-way through her university degree, with no job, no family support, and facing homelessness, Helen decided, despite the challenges to have her baby. The life-changing decision put the Ringwood mother on a path for transforming countless lives in her local community.

Now eighteen years later, Helen has supported hundreds of other women facing the same challenges across eastern and south-eastern suburbs, as founder and managing director of the Victorian not-for-profit crisis pregnancy service The Babes Project.

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