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Australia Day Awards nominees

We congratulate all nominees to Maroondah’s Australia Day Awards. View all the 2019 nominees below:

Kitty Allard

Kitty has been Principal at Heathmont East Primary School (HEPS) for 17 years. During that time, the school has grown from 200 students to over 650. Over that time HEPS has become known as a powerhouse and beacon school within the Maroondah district for outstanding academic results.

Kitty has fostered a love of learning within the school community. She has been tireless in her pursuit for better funding, services and provisions for all students. Kitty has overseen staff development in critical areas such as literacy and numeracy. She has built an alliance within the Maroondah network which allows pre-service teachers from universities to be welcomed and given practical teaching experience.

Kitty has always been about the students. She attends camps, sleepovers, excursions to see students in these environments. She attends out of school performances such as dancing at Hisense Arena, musicians at Melbourne Town Hall and Hamer Hall. Kitty has even travelled to our Japanese sister school on student exchange programs.

She has been instrumental in the education and lives of hundreds of local children within the Maroondah council.

Ian Barnes 

Ian "Barney" Barnes has been serving the Maroondah community for decades and this year he celebrated his 50th season at the Ringwood Football Club. He began as a junior player in 1969 and when a knee injury ended his career, he became the clubs head trainer and a committee member in 1981 and has continued to do such roles ever since. His name is synonymous with the Ringwood Football Club and the Ringwood Spiders all-abilities club (of which he is a life member of both and a 'legend' of the football club).

His involvement goes far beyond trainer and committee duties. As well as fixing player injuries, he is the go to person for everything else that needs fixing. He is the handyman, the builder, the cleaner, the sign designer and so much more. He is involved with the Ringwood FC senior side, the junior sides, veterans side and the Ringwood Spiders All-abilities teams.

This year he has retired as a firefighter, but when he was previously working he would work his roster around his club duties and many times has come straight from a night shift at work to the club for a full day of trainer’s duty without a break. His contribution to the clubs goes far beyond that which could be expected of anyone.

Pauline Cornell 

Pauline Cornell is a 78 year old woman who has lived in Maroondah for the past 19 years.

She moved to Victoria from interstate over 20 years ago and quickly become involved in getting to know and understand the healthcare system here to assist her family access services.

Pauline started by attending Maroondah Forums with special interest in disability and accessibility.

Pauline gradually started to lose her sight over several years and became legally blind in 1987. She then lost her sight totally nearly 5 years ago.

Pauline has served on numerous committees for Maroondah Council, each Community Health, Care Connect and Outer East Primary Care Partnership.

Pauline describes her role as an advocate – acting as a voice for others and has developed a strong commitment to the need for knowledge and understanding of the need for Advocacy for disability in the Aged Care Sector.

Pauline states “I am happy that over time the processes have become more inclusive so that now rather than doing for , services are doing with”

Trish Davis 

Trish has served in the Maroondah district for over 40 years. Her dedication and compassion have been displayed whilst being a Donwood Community staff member driving the elderly around in the Community Centre bus as well as looking after their personnel welfare by organising fun activities and outings to enrich their lives.

Sue Dymond

Sue Dymond is an author, successful business woman, motivational speaker, counsellor and advocate.

Sue, a resident of Maroondah, started the charity, iDareU, which is aimed at inspiring and empowering people with a disability. She connects people with a disability through creating natural inclusion in all of the activities that she initiates and becomes involved in.

Some of those activities are: having stalls in mainstream markets, community days and festivals within the City of Maroondah, to raise awareness of disability issues and raise money for educational workshops and to provide support for families who have a family member with a disability, speaking at schools and local Rotaries about Down syndrome and people with disabilities.

Specifically, she initiated and held a workshop for carers and people with a disability connecting with their local communities at the Ringwood Community Centre; has created a Community Hub for families & carers of people with a disability at Yarrunga Community Centre, that will run for a minimum of 6 times per year; and has provided 1:1 support for many families and carers within Maroondah with their submissions and reviews of the NDIS. She attends the NDIS planning meetings with people as an advocate.

To ensure that people with disabilities and their families and carers have the best opportunities possible, Sue has ensured that iDareU has partnerships across the city of Maroondah and beyond. These partnerships and linkages include: Your DNA, Ringwood; Shingle Inn, Eastland; Ringwood North Community Sports Club; East Ringwood Market; Bendigo Bank; and Bunnings, Ringwood. She also has discussions with Michael Sukkar, federal member for Deakin, and Dee RyaII, state member for Ringwood, to provide input into their knowledge about disability issues.

Sue spends many hours with carers from Maroondah who call her in a distressed state about their situations and ensures that they get the assistance they need. Her generosity with her time and her knowledge is to be commended. She is passionate about justice for all and is not afraid to fight for those without a voice. She does all of this whilst caring for her 27 year-old daughter who has Down syndrome and without any family supports. Sue walks her talk and strongly identifies with the difficulties of those she is supporting.

Sue and her daughter, Chloe, have provided weekly support to ByWays in Ringwood by feeding the poor.

Richard Stanton

Rick has been a volunteer with the EACH Tai Chi group for many years. He willingly leads the group, often at short notice, when staff are unwell and we have no available staff to assist.

He enthusiastically promotes the benefits of Tai Chi to his community. 

Ben Watson

Ben emailed wishing to volunteer as a 'Group Facilitator' for the Mr Perfect BBQ Social Meet Ups.

He began the first BBQ in Boronia and has run these successfully since October 2017 which aims to improve men’s mental health through open and honest communication in a social environment.

In March 2018, Ben reached out to Snap Fitness Croydon to start a men’s exercise session monthly for local men in the community and seeking $5 dollars that goes directly to funding the next BBQ. Ben has facilitated the BBQ meet ups to upwards of 240 men in the community.

Prateeti Sabhlok

Prateeti Sabhlok has begun the first ever Adult Synchronised Swimming Session in Victoria at Aquanation, Ringwood.

This has significantly contributed to female participation in sport in Maroondah during 2018. I believe these classes have been successful because of Prateeti Sabhlok's passion and drive. She took it upon herself to plan, advertise and run the sessions when they first began in late 2017, contributing to their growth in 2018. Furthermore, Prateeti is currently in the middle of expanding the amount of available sessions and reducing prices to make it more accessible to a wider range of people.

In sport, Prateeti Sabhlok has contributed hours of her time and energy to the Maroondah community. With no outside funding or support, these lessons took two years of preparation. Currently the club has swimmers up to the age of 45 years training with them, many of whom have no background in synchronised swimming at all.

They are training for State and National Championships and have participated in displays at weddings and some other events. By taking it upon herself to being in the sessions, Prateeti has opened up another avenue of recreation for Maroondah residents. 

Isabel Santos

Last year Isabel successfully applied to volunteer as a Maroondah Youth Wellbeing advocate. This year she has attended regularly and been an important part of the team. She has both contributed and gained much from this experience.

This experience inspired her to seek work experience at Maroondah Youth Services so she could learn more about wellbeing services and supports. Furthermore, Isabel has not applied to do VET/TAFE in Community Services. Isabel has a strong moral compass and values. She often challenges students and people within the community in a positive way. Isabel shows a lot of leadership across Croydon Community School. In particular, she is a positive role model who challenges and questions anyone who makes comments that are offensive comments in terms of race, culture, sexuality, gender. More recently Isabel has become a keen animal rights advocate.

Ringwood and District Heritage Open Day

The Ringwood & District Heritage Open Day was organised to celebrate local history in the Ringwood district, as well as the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Ringwood & District Historical Society.

Also attending were the Heathmont History Group, the Wonga Park History Group, the Ringwood Saints Baseball Club, the Ringwood Field Naturalist's Club and the Maroondah Plant Society, that put on attractive and sizeable historical displays.

Live music was organised by the Heathmont Uniting Church, as well as refreshments. The highlight of the afternoon was the cutting of the anniversary cake and the presentation of a hamper donated, and presented by, Dee Ryall MP, Member for Ringwood.

The MCC Mayor and Councillors were invited but, unfortunately, had prior engagements.

Overall, over 200 local people, some from the country areas, attended and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

Generation Run 

Bec & Steve Rosel run a free community club walk run session at Croydon athletics track funded by Maroondah council. Walkers have become runners. It’s wonderful to see so many families arriving on a Thursday with Mum, Dad and the kids. They are the most caring and motivating coaches that inspire the whole community.

Every Thursday there are always so many people turning up, on the 11th October we had the biggest turnout with over 50 runners. That’s 50 people across our community showing up to improve their lives.

In the short time I’ve been there they raised money for the drought crisis through drought angels, the gen run community gave $689, Steve & Bec matched this dollar for dollar to raise a total amount of $1378. They have also been fundraising to build a house for a disadvantaged family in Cambodia. They host many community Events to raise funds for this selfless cause. Gold coin donations are given on a Thursday which goes to Oscar 100, this helps improve the lives of children living with autism.

They also encourage the younger community with some very dedicated children showing up every week to run with this loving community. Some even want to become gen run ambassador. In the world we now live with so much technology this is wonder to see kids getting outside to enjoy running.  

Bec regularly posts healthy meals which she posts to a community of over 800 encouraging everyone to make healthy food choices and to live a happy life.

They run so many free sessions with the community to get people running together. This club has really change my life and for this I feel that they truly deserve to win the citizen of the year award for the contribution they have made to our community. I love telling everyone willing to listen how my local council funds this community session. 

Carers' Day Out

This event is the result of a partnership between three organisations who work in Maroondah: (a charity that supports people with a disability, and their unpaid carers & families, and is focused on natural inclusion of people with a disability within their community); Real Life Theatre (a Maroondah Arts Grant recipient, that uses theatre as therapy), an organization that enables community building through looking at real issues faced in life; and Yarrunga Community Centre, a place that truly responds to the educational, social and leisure needs of the community.

The Carers Day Out is aimed at informing and supporting unpaid carers and family members of those Maroondah families who live with a person who has a disability. These carers lose their supports once their loved one enters the NDIS. The carers and family members will learn about wellbeing, participate in a wellness activity, hear about (& receive) simple strategies on how to implement the NDIS, be able to connect and network with other unpaid carers, as well as access the iDareU disability resource library and have fun in theatre games. Your DNA (a Maroondah disability service) cooking participants will be providing and serving afternoon tea.

The event partners recognize the difficulties that carers and families face in their day to day lives and aims at providing practical and nurturing assistance to their loved ones. They also recognize the need for people with disabilities to be paid and to do programs with purpose and outcomes.

It is obvious that the need is there as we already have 34 people registered for the event. (At the time of this application, it was 3 weeks before the event).

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