Champions of Salisbury community recognised

Released on 02 February 2018
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An outstanding young advocate for refugees and multiculturalism, selfless longstanding volunteers and an event combatting a major issue with the power of positivity were all recognised at this year’s City of Salisbury Australia Day awards presentations.

Mayor Gillian Aldridge congratulated all winners describing them as “dedicated, intelligent, selfless and highly-valued members of the Salisbury community”. “I am so proud to be able to recognize their many achievements and the positive impact they have had on our City over many years,” Mayor Aldridge said.

The awards were presented at the annual Salisbury Australia Day Family Picnic at Carisbrooke Park, which attracted thousands of attendees who were treated to a free community breakfast, live music and performances, monster truck rides, amusement rides, face-painting, airbrush tattoos, community and vintage displays, kids activities and more.

AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS CITY OF SALISBURY

YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Qasem Bahmanzadah

Multiculturalism has positively shaped the welcoming and diverse society we are celebrating today. It has strengthened Australia’s national identity and promoted social cohesion while diversifying our knowledge, skills and population base.

Future progress will of course require continued discussion and understanding of matters such as race, culture and identity – and our young people are leading the way.

QasemBahmanzadah, of Pooraka, has made a significant personal commitment to raising awareness of the challenges faced by refugees and providing support those working to overcome cultural barriers such as language, cultural differences, foreign traditions and breaking down negative stereotypes.

Qasem’s passion and leadership stems from his own personal journey, and he is always looking for ways to help others who have experienced similar hardship. He lost both his parents at age seven before coming to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan with no possessions and no grasp of English. Since then, Qasem has overcome the language barrier to complete Australian secondary schooling and in 2010 he joined the Australian Air Force Cadets being named ‘Dux of Recruits’. He has completed a Bachelor of Aviation and is now a Section Commander.

In 2012 Qasem began volunteering for the Australian Refugees Association and quickly became a Youth Ambassador undertaking public speaking and facilitating events for younq people. He is now a Peer Leader for the organisation’s current and future Youth Ambassadors.

Through the Rotaract Club, Qasem has coordinated community and international based products to help those in needs while also fundraising for the Northern Domestic ViolenceService, mental health and the Rotarians Against Slavery program. As a Team Leader with RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment), Qasem supports empowerment camps which teach youth teamwork, leadership, self-belief, conflict resolution, goal setting, public speaking and communication skills.

In 2016 Qasem was named winner of the South Australian Minister for Education’s Excellence in Languages and Cultures Award, which recognizes people under 24 years who demonstrate commitment to advocacy for a multicultural Australia, a high degree of competence in more than one language and culture, outstanding qualities including leadership, and the ability to operate across cultures.

As part of his desire to truly understand and be part of Australian culture, Qasem is now learning more about and contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

As part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, Qasem provides guidance to Aboriginal and Torres Islander year 8 to 12 students from all over South Australia through workshops on racism, bullying, discrimination, employment and education.

Despite only being in his early twenties, Qasem has already achieved so much and helped so many people while also overcoming barriers in his own life making him a highly deserved Young Citizen of the Year award winner.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Elaine Figallo

In the world of sports the on-field heroics of athletes and teams are praised and celebrated across the nation. Grassroots clubs, teams and players hold a special place in our hearts and their extraordinary achievements often become local folklore.

With our eyes and ears so focussed on the field –it is sometimes easy to forget those behind the scenes and their commitment, preparations and support to not only make game day happen, but also ensure it’s part of a healthy, welcoming and well-organised competition.

This invaluable work –particularly at a community level – is usually undertaken by volunteers, many of whom may never have graced the sporting area but are instead driven by their passion for their club, code and community.

For more than 30 years, Paralowie’s Elaine Figallo has epitomised this vision of voluntary commitment and dedication within the northern suburbs cricket community –even steering the development of the Association and the structure of its competition.

Prior to recently stepping down from the Para Districts Cricket Association, Elaine served 26 years on the Executive Committee including the past eight seasons as President. Throughout this time Elaine was instrumental in the growth of cricket in the region, particularly for juniors and women.

Elaine played a key role in the development of the Para Districts Cricket Association’s junior program some 30 years ago. Initially offering Under 14s and Under 16s, the Under 12 competition was later added to allow children of all ages to play cricket. Throughout this time, Elaine helped her local Paralowie Cricket Club to field seven teams in the Association, which grew from 40 to 60 teams.

Elaine was instrumental in the foundation of the Association’s women’s competition, which is celebrating its 20th season. This has been widely recognised as one of the first community cricket competitions for women in Australia, with other associations only now beginning to establish similar programs.

Through Elaine’s leadership as Association President, more programs are now available than ever before for juniors, seniors and women to participate in cricket in the northern suburbs.

SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Alun Hughes

A generous heart, strong work ethic, willingness to help, community-minded and an extraordinary volunteer, mentor and leader are just some of the ways Alun Hughes has been described over many years.

Alun has proudly lived in Salisbury North since 1975 and professionally he had a long career in the motor industry, rising to training and management roles with the RAA, for which he worked for almost 30 years.

Despite having his hands full raising 11 children, Alun’s leadership and contributions to the community over four decades are second to none.

From the time he and his family moved to Salisbury up until 2005, Alun was a leader in the Anglican Boys’ Society including Branch Governor at St Barbara’s Anglican Church in Parafield Gardens, District Commissioner for the Northern Federation and State Training Officer. Alun was a member of the Salisbury High School Governing Council for 26 years, 16 of which were served during the time that his 11 children attended the school. In 2006, the then Minister for Education Jane Lomax-Smith presented Alun with a certificate for his ‘voluntary contribution to education and care of children in South Australia’.

Alun has been a member of local Rotary Clubs since 1989, initially with Elizabeth and more recently he joined the Salisbury Rotary Club. In 2010, Alun held the highest position available in our Rotary District 9500 – District Governor –with responsibility for about 5O Rotary Clubs. At the district level he was also chairperson of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) for about 10 years, Assistant Governor of Group 4, and Coordinator of the Vocational Service, Ethics and Leadership, Pride of Workmanship awards.

Most recently Alun was regional chair of the Rotary Oceanic Medical Aid for Children program, which brings disadvantaged children from nearby Pacific Island regions to Adelaide to reconstruct horrific genetic deformities. Following the surgery, Rotary provides post-operative care and home-hosting.

With Northern Volunteering he engaged with employment agencies and other volunteer organisations to help young people find jobs and establish career paths.

A Justice of the Peace since 2003, Alun also attends local libraries to help witness and certify documents as well as being part of the training team of the Royal Association of Justices of South Australia.

Alun has had a positive impact on many sectors of our community and continues to do what he can to support those in need. We are proud to be able to recognise his dedication with the Senior Citizen of the Year award.

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR - Aussie Era Car Show (Salisbury Business Association Inc.)

The Salisbury Aussie Era Car Show was intended to be a unique, one-off community event to celebrate and acknowledge the end of an era – namely almost 70 years of car manufacturing in Australia.

South Australia – but in particular the Northern Adelaide community – had faced multiple years of uncertainty and prominence in the state and national spotlight following GM Holden’s announcement that it would be closing down its car manufacturing operations in this country.

The brainchild of the Salisbury Business Association, the Car Show was held on the weekend of GM Holden’s Elizabeth plant closure with the goal of creating positivity and a sense of togetherness as we entered the post-Holden era while still acknowledging the past and the achievements of Australian car manufacturers.

The event exceeded all expectations attracting about 4,500 people including hundreds of motoring enthusiasts who showcased their pride and joys in a ‘Show and Shine’ of Australian-built vehicles.

It was a true family day featuring a community barbecue, kids playing on the bouncy castle and getting their faces painted alongside northern Adelaide’s largest outdoor vehicle showroom.

The event successfully showcased Salisbury City Centre to new visitors, generated significant economic stimulus and activated community spaces in a way never seen previously. It also brought the local business community together with organiser the Salisbury Business Association securing the backing of

Parabanks Shopping Centre, EP Performance, Rebel Ford, Perfection Automotive Detailing, Peter Page Holden and Signarama Salisbury as well as many in-kind supporters.

Thanks to its overwhelming success, the Association has announced the Aussie Era Car Show will now be an annual event returning on Sunday 21 October.

For many reasons, but perhaps most importantly for creating an atmosphere of positivity around arguably our community’s largest challenge in recent years, the Salisbury Aussie Era Car Show is a highly deserved winner of the Australia Day Community Event of the Year Award.