The contributions of older Victorians have been recognised today with the Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, and Minister for Housing Disability and Ageing Martin Foley presenting Echuca’s Gwen Smith as Victoria’s Senior of the Year.
Gwen has volunteered in community groups and in adult education for over 30 years. She is President of the Echuca Neighbourhood House, actively involved in Mirrimbeena Aboriginal Education Group, Echuca RSL, and is a judge for Town Crier competitions across the state.
The winners, aged between 67 and 90 and from all over Victoria are a diverse group of active leaders, role models, advocates and participants in many volunteer activities in their respective communities.
A total of 16 awards were presented including:
- Healthy and Active Living Award – Patsy Blair, of Bentleigh
- Promotion of Multiculturalism Award – Vishnu Prasad, of Skye
- Veteran Community Award – Verna Phillips of Carrum Downs
- COTA Senior Achiever Awards – Bob Greaves of Mt Eliza, Jennifer Evans of Blackburn, Tom Thorpe OAM of Burwood, Marjorie Jarvis of Leongatha, Anne Macarthur OAM of Bairnsdale, Joan Li of Toorak, Anne Fairhall of Melbourne and Leo Sargent of Canterbury.
Age-Friendly Victoria Awards went to Maroondah City Council for its Active and Health Ageing Initiative, and to Peninsula Transport Assist which provides transport for older people in an area with very little public transport.
The awards are part of the 2016 Victorian Seniors Festival which offers more than 1,300 free and low-cost events all over Victoria, including a great array of social, cultural, educational and body-and-soul activities.
The festival program can be picked up at any Coles, local council, Neighbourhood House or U3A premises, or call Seniors Information Victoria on 1300 135 090.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“Seniors make an incredible contribution to our community – and testament to that are the many worthy nominations we received from across Victoria.”
“Congratulations to all the award recipients today and thank you for your dedication and commitment to your communities.”
“We are proud to support these awards which are a fitting part of the 34th Victorian Seniors Festival.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020