Seniors Recognised For Outstanding Contributions

An 80-year-old palliative care advocate, Margaret Young, is the 2019 Victorian Senior of the Year in recognition of her outstanding work supporting people facing a terminal diagnosis.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today congratulated Ms Young and 16 other award recipients who were recognised for their community work by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau AC at a ceremony at Government House.

Margaret is an active volunteer who has supported many individuals over the past 11 years as a grief counsellor with Eastern Palliative Care. Recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, Margaret has agreed to document her own experience for a film project as she faces her own death to help benefit others.

There are more than 1.25 million Victorians over 60 and each year the Victorian Senior of the Year Awards recognise the enormous contribution they make to their local communities.

This year’s Promotion of Multiculturalism Award went to Souria Youssef for her work supporting isolated Arabic speaking residents in aged care facilities and the community.

The Healthy and Active Living Award went to Anna Bardsley who has transformed her personal struggles with gambling addiction to a strong caring and advocacy role.

Several veterans were recognised at the awards including Peter Burquest who won the Veteran Community Award and COTA Senior Achiever Award recipients 98-year-old Alan Moore and 96-year-old Colin Hamley. Nine other COTA Senior Achiever Award recipients were recognised at the awards and the West Gippsland Bush Walkers received the Age-Friendly Victoria Award.

The awards are part of the 2019 Victorian Seniors Festival which runs throughout October to recognise and celebrate seniors. For more information about the awards visit seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/awards.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan

“Every day, senior Victorians share their skills, experience, time, and energy with us all. The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards are one of the many ways we say thank you.” 

“These awards celebrate Victorian seniors whose kindness and generosity make our state stronger and fairer.”

“I’d like to acknowledge the high-calibre of nominations in this year’s Victorian Senior of the Year Awards and congratulate all the finalists on their impressive contributions.”