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Congratulations to our 2016 Australia Day Award winners

Congratulations to our 2016 Australia Day Award winners

26 January 2016

The winners of The City of Greater Dandenong’s Australia Day Awards were recognised for their service to our community today in a special ceremony at Dandenong Park as part of the Australia Day Festival.

2016 award winners 

Citizen of the Year - Fr Jean Mawal

A leader of the Antiochian Church, Fr Jean Mawal has been recognised for his influence in promoting a more tolerant and respectful community through his involvement with Council’s Challenge Family Violence Project.

Volunteer of the Year – Tracey Walden

Tracey Walden has been recognised for her 35 years of service to the Noble Park Junior and Senior Football clubs, and for promoting community participation in Australian Rules Football. 

Leadership Award – Hayatullah Rahimi

Hayatullah Rahimi, himself a former refugee, is recognised for his commitment to raising awareness about refugee and asylum seeker issues and for offering ongoing support to members of the Hazara community.

Multicultural Award – Andrew South and Matthew Pond, Noble Park CFA Noble Park

CFA members, Andrew South and Matthew Pond, have worked to increase CFA membership by encouraging people from culturally diverse backgrounds to join, ensuring its sustainability into the future.

Sportsperson of the Year – Aaliyah Corles

Award judges were impressed with 12 year old Aaliyah’s athletic ability and particularly her willingness to help encourage and coach younger participants in the martial arts.

Corporate Citizen of the Year – David Willersdorf

David Willersdorf is a highly-respected member of Greater Dandenong’s business community whose philanthropic support of local charities and initiatives has greatly benefited our city.

Young Leaders of the Year – Mohammad Reza Haidari and Khalid Katikang (joint winners)

Mohammad Reza Haidari has been recognised for his outstanding service as a volunteer for organisations across Greater Dandenong, including the Red Cross and the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Centre.

Since arriving in Australia aged 12 as an unaccompanied minor from Sudan, Khalid Katikang has given back to his adopted community by volunteering with a range of youth programs, including developing the ‘Say No to Crime’ program with the young Sudanese community.

Sporting Hall of Fame - Michael Findlay

Michael Findlay has given a lifetime of outstanding service to cricket in the Dandenong District spanning 40 years. Through Michael’s efforts, many others have been encouraged to play at the club, join as social members or become volunteers.  

Community Hall of Fame - Be Ha

Be arrived in Australia from Vietnam by boat in 1979.  After the horrific journey, Be set about helping others settle into their new home by ensuring that the proper social supports were in place including education, welfare and financial support. Be established the non-profit welfare organisation Springvale Indochinese Mutual Assistance Association (SICMAA) in 1982 and helped to found Hoa Nghiem Temple in Springvale. 

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