Health Champion Is Victoria’s 2018 Senior Of The Year

09 October 2018

Retired health professional, 79 year old Hamish Russell has taken out the prestigious 2018 Victorian Senior of the Year award for his volunteer work to improve health outcomes in Melbourne’s outer east.

Hamish and 17 other award recipients were recognised for their community work by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau AC and Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services, Sharon Knight at a ceremony at Government House today.

Older Victorians make up more than 15 per cent of the state’s population and the annual Seniors Awards recognise the enormous contribution made by seniors across Victoria.

Since retiring from a long career in health management Hamish has worked to ensure the provision of high quality health services in the Shires of Yarra Ranges and Cardinia by setting up a tertiary scholarship program.

Hamish’s program has helped more than 70 students become doctors, nurses or allied health professionals and has contributed to many other positive health care developments in his local outer eastern communities.

The Promotion of Multiculturalism Award went to 69 year old Marin Ahmed Abdulle for her frontline support for newly arrived Somali migrants, helping them transition into their new community.

A COTA Senior Achiever Award went to Robert Lowe Snr, 71 from Warrnambool. An Aboriginal Elder and cultural mentor and writer, Robert has worked in his community as a relationship builder and role model.

Another COTA Senior Achiever Award went to Brenda Appleton, 67 from South Yarra for her advocacy, education and research participation on care services for older members of the LGBTI community, particularly transgender people.

The awards are part of the 2018 Victorian Seniors Festival which runs throughout the month of October and offers more than 2,500 free and low-cost events across Victoria - including a huge array of social, cultural, educational and body-and-soul activities.

For more information about the 2018 Victorian Senior of the Year awards and a list of winners visit

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

“Every year we hear these awards give us some great stories of Victorian seniors giving back to their community and this year is no different. Congratulations to all of the very-worthy recipients and nominees.”

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services Sharon Knight

“Seniors make a tremendous contribution to our community and these awards are a great time to recognise these efforts and say thank you.”

“This year, there were more than 140 nominations, which is an indication of the high-profile of these awards, but also just how many dedicated and hard-working seniors we have across Victoria.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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