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Community Volunteer Awards Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for the social housing community volunteer awards with recipients to be recognised at a ceremony in December.

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley today called for nominations to help recognise public and community housing tenants who have contributed to their neighbourhood by working as volunteers.

The Frances Penington and Molly Hadfield Awards acknowledge the tenants who work as volunteers with a community group, agency or charity or who have supported people in their local area.

Last year six tenants and groups were recognised, including Michael Aboujundi, a Syrian refugee who came to Melbourne in 2000, who was awarded the Frances Penington Award. He was recognised for his work as a tenant advocate and spokesperson for residents of the Northcote housing estate.

The Molly Hadfield Award – named after the late Mary (Molly) Hadfield, an advocate for public housing tenants – honours the contribution made by public and community housing tenants to support older community members. She was also an original member of the Housing for the Aged Action Group, which formed in 1983.

The Frances Penington Award has been presented each year since 1998 to a public or community housing tenant, or group of tenants, who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to their local community.

The awards honour the late Frances Penington, a Commissioner of Housing and the first woman appointed to the board of a statutory authority in Victoria. She was a strong advocate for public housing tenants, particularly for women living in housing estates.

The call for nominations is part of Housing Week 2016 – a time to celebrate the contribution of public and community housing residents to Victoria.

For more information on how to nominate someone for these awards visitwww.housing.vic.gov.au/frances-penington-and-molly-hadfield-awards or email placeinitiatives@dhhs.vic.gov.au

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

“We’re proud to recognise the significant efforts of social housing tenants who are actively working in their community to support others.”

“These are people who are putting others before themselves – they’re not paid to provide this service, but selflessly work to make the community a better place.”