At 99, Esme is Hume’s top citizen!

 Hume's Australia Day Awards winners
Proud: Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, with Hume's Australia Day Awards winners

A 99 year old woman who has helped thousands of Tullamarine residents to take part in practical workshops is Hume’s 2016 Citizen of the Year.

Dorothy ‘Esme’ Pigott assisted to establish the Tullamarine Community House on Carol Grove in 1989, and has been on its board of management ever since.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said Esme had given so much to her local community.

“Esme is one of our oldest residents, and she’s also one of our biggest contributors to the people of Hume,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“This wonderful woman has changed lives through her dedicated service to a place that offers many services to people on low incomes.

“For more than 25 years, Tullamarine Community House has presented programs that help people to exercise, cook, make jewellery, and use computer software.

“It also assists families through playgroup, childcare and tax return support, and offers a men’s shed that enables participants to keep in contact with their friends.

“Esme has been a major force behind the Tullamarine Community House, and Hume owes her a tremendous debt of gratitude.

“Now just six weeks from a 100th birthday, I heartily congratulate Esme on her newest title, that of Hume Citizen of the Year.”

In the 1980s, Esme represented the interests of seniors in Tullamarine and was part of a steering group that integrated social services for residents.

In 1991, she established the Tullamarine Seniors Group and remains an active member of the association, through which Esme organises lunches and outings for senior citizens.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume’s 2016 Young Citizen of the Year was Nisal Lochana Karawita, a resident who has given many hours to support initiatives that assist other young people.

“Nisal is one of the reasons that we can all be confident of a bright future in Hume,” she said.

“He volunteers for the Good People Act Now group, which campaigns to thwart domestic violence, with the assistance of the Banksia Gardens Community Centre in Broadmeadows.

“The Gladstone Park Secondary College graduate has also helped to produce a DVD about mental health that can be used in schools across Hume, under the auspices of the R U OK Day? campaign.

“Nisal has been a part of Hume City Council’s Youth Leaders program since 2014, and he volunteered ideas that helped Council to develop its most recent youth strategy.

“The 18 year old also volunteered his time to interact with other young people at the Craigieburn Festival in 2015, and was a leading participant in Hume’s 2014 youth forum.

“Nisal’s many activities have been supported by his values: the want for every young person to enjoy equal opportunity, and live a healthy and positive life.”

As part of the Australia Day Awards, Hume City Council has also acknowledged the success of two community events held in 2015.

The title of Community Event of the Year has been jointly won by:

• SunFest, which took place at the Village Green in Sunbury on 14-15 March 2015; and
• Iraq Unity Cup, played at Gibb Reserve, Dallas, on 7 March 2015.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said both events had helped to bring Hume residents closer together.

“SunFest is Sunbury’s largest community festival and its organising committee produced an event in 2015 that delivered colour and excitement to the town centre,” she said.

“A display of memorabilia from the Sunbury Rock Festival was a particular highlight in 2015, and the festival’s stalls and live music acts brought many people to the Village Green.”

Colour and excitement was also a feature of the Iraq Unity Cup, which involved a number of local soccer teams.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the tournament helped to bring the entire Iraqi community together.

“Teams were represented from a variety of different Iraqi communities, and included Kurds, Arabs, Chaldeans, and Assyrians,” she said.

“Some of these groups have been in conflict in Iraq, but the Iraq Unity Cup in Dallas attempted to bring them together and it was a dazzling success.

“The day showed how people in Hume can and do live together in peace and harmony, regardless of the tensions which may exist in other parts of the world.

“The real winner of this event was friendship, and the tournament proved how unity would always triumph in the end.”

For further information about Hume’s Australia Day Awards, visit here.

Posted on 11:00 AM, 26 January 2016

Updated : 10:39 AM, 27 January 2016

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