Australia Day: City of Yarra

I rise to acknowledge Mere Paora Epere, who was announced as the city of Yarra’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day. Mere is a resident of the Collingwood housing estate. I consider it an honour to not only represent Mere in this Parliament but also call her a friend. Mere has been a committed activist and tireless advocate for public housing residents for more than a decade, and particularly since her election in 2002 as a chair of the Dight Street, Abbotsford, Collingwood and Clifton Hill High Rise Tenants Association. I can attest to the formidable advocacy of Mere, having been her local member and also the Minister for Housing. I congratulate Mere on receiving this well-deserved honour and commend her to the house.

I also wish to acknowledge Sue Kent, the city of Yarra’s Woman of the Year. Sue has worked with the community for 33 years at the Belgium Avenue and Collingwood neighbourhood houses. During this incredible period of service Sue has gone about her extraordinary work with little fanfare and with the dedication of the truly committed. She has shown a dedicated and steadfast commitment to social inclusion and participation amongst some of our most disadvantaged community members. I acknowledge Sue as a wonderful role model and commend her to the house.

I also commend to the house the City of Yarra’s Young Citizen of the Year, Sitina Mustafa, awarded for her work as a Yarra youth ambassador and member of the Yarra Youth Providers Network; and Yarra’s African Reading Club, awarded Community Service of the Year for its services to African children in Fitzroy, ably represented on Australia Day by Matoc Mordecai Achol.