2013 Australia Day Award winners
Yarra's Australia Day awards were presented at Council's annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony held on 26 January 2013.
The awards recognise individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the Yarra community.
Here is some more information about Council's 2013 Australia Day award winners:
Citizen of the Year – Mere Paora Epere
As a resident of the Collingwood Housing Estate, chairperson of the Dight Street, Abbotsford, Collingwood and Clifton Hill High Rise Tenants Association (DACCHTA) and a member of the Justice Centre Committee, Mere has devoted almost 15 years to representing the interests of local residents.
Her work has brought about a number of changes on the estate, including improved safety and neighbourhood renewal. Her involvement in organising community events such as a Christmas party for children, and an ‘Olympic Games’ involving residents from different housing estates and contributing to the Harvest Festival has helped bring the community together.
Mere follows a simple motto to make sure her work makes a difference. “It has to be good for every resident – every resident has to benefit.”
Young Citizen of the Year – Sitina Mustafa
Sitina is a valuable contributor to the youth sector in the City of Yarra. She is a founding member of the Yarra Youth Ambassadors program, which meets fortnightly to discuss issues concerning young people.
In 2012, Sitina was part of the youth panel at the Yarra Youth Providers Network where she gave her views on services for young people in Yarra. She also shared her life experiences with the service providers who attended the network.
Sitina has participated in a consultation run by the Multicultural Commission of Victoria where she was a strong voice for the concerns of multicultural youth in Yarra and Victoria.
Woman of the Year – Sue Kent
Sue Kent has worked tirelessly to support the Yarra community for more than 30 years.
Sue is the driving force behind the Belgium Avenue and Collingwood neighbourhood houses, as well as many local events and activities.
Sue’s achievements include establishing new community spaces, helping to form new community and arts groups and social enterprises, and creating a beautification program for the Collingwood and Richmond public housing estates through public art.
Community Service of the Year – African Reading Club
The African Reading Club is run by the African Communities Foundation Australia. The club focuses on pre-school and primary school children aged 4 – 11 years that live on the Fitzroy Housing Estate.
Running twice a week at Atherton Gardens, the club provides a valuable learning service with educational resources for young African children.
The club strengthens children’s literacy and confidence and provides an opportunity for children to get to know each other.
Community Event of the Year – Schoolhouse Studios, Place of Assembly
Based at Nicholson Street, Abbotsford, Schoolhouse Studios provided studio space for 75 visual artists, designers, toy makers, writers, architects, film makers, landscape architects and animators.
The Place of Assembly exhibition celebrated the site's vibrant and multi-layered history before its impending demolition for a residential complex.
Featuring the artists from Schoolhouse Studios and ten guest artists, the exhibition was a unique, final reflection on the rich history and memories of the site as a former tannery, monastery, technical college, Steiner school and artist studios.
The project helped to raise awareness of the difficulties artists face due to the shortage of available, affordable spaces for creative practice.
Community & Civic Events Officer
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