Search begins for Victoria’s senior of the year

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Victorians are being urged to nominate outstanding seniors who make a remarkable difference to their communities for the 2011 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards.

Minister for Ageing David Davis today invited community members, service organisations and local councils to nominate seniors for an award to honour their selfless contribution to the community.

“These awards give us an opportunity to recognise the tireless volunteer services of older people across Victoria,” Mr Davis said.

To be eligible for an award, nominees must be over 60 years of age, an Australian citizen, a resident of Victoria and have made an exceptional contribution to their community.

“The recent floods across Victoria have once again highlighted our strong community spirit, with volunteers banding together to help people affected by flooding,” Mr Davis said.

“Seniors played a large part in these efforts – and it is important for us to say thank you and celebrate their achievements.”

There are a number of awards for which seniors can be recognised.

The Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year is presented to the individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their local community and Victoria.

Last year’s Senior of the Year was 82-year-old Ted Kitto from Shepparton.
Mr Kitto was recognised for his work with older people and children’s charities, establishing the Terrific Kids program that helps young people build confidence, and Heartkids which supports children affected by heart disease.

All nominees are also eligible for the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria Senior Achiever Awards. These awards celebrate seniors whose talents, achievements and contributions have significantly benefited their communities.

The Healthy & Active Living Award is presented to a senior who is helping to build an active and healthy community, while the Veteran Community Award is presented to a senior who has made an exceptional contribution to veterans.

Mr Davis said in 2011, a new award had been added to recognise the large part seniors play in advancing the benefits of cultural diversity.

“The Promotion of Multiculturalism Award will be presented to a senior who has made a significant contribution to promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in their local community or to the broader community of Victoria,” Mr Davis said.

The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards will be presented at a special reception at Government House on 30 September 2011. The ceremony will lead into United Nations International Day of Older Persons on 1 October and the Victorian Seniors Festival from 2 to 9 October.

Nomination forms can be obtained from Seniors Information Victoria, phone 1300 135 090 or visit www.seniors.vic.gov.au. Nominations close on 22 July 2011.