May 8, 2008

Award for outstanding contribution to the lives of Senior Australians

Award for outstanding contribution to the lives of Senior Australians in Grayndler

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 8 2008

The Australian Government today recognised Mary Shannon for her significant contribution to improving the lives of senior Australians.

Anthony Albanese MP together with Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, presented Ms Shannon with a plaque at a morning tea in Marrickville.

The Community Service Award is presented to individuals who provide outstanding service to older Australians, or to older Australians who provide outstanding community service.

They can be community members, volunteers, carers, aged-care workers or administrators.

Ms Shannon got involved as a volunteer through the Beyond Home project 3 years ago and having made a lasting friend in that area moved with her to work in the Community Visitors Scheme.

Beyond Home is a volunteer based transitional care project that aims at preventing or reducing depression in older people as they make the transition to residential aged care. The Community Visitors Scheme helps keep older people connected to the community and provides friendship and companionship. It also gives volunteers a rewarding relationship.

“The award is an Australian Government initiative which is designed to recognise the contribution of people whose efforts might otherwise go unremarked,” Mrs Elliot said.

Anthony Albanese said he was pleased to see local residents recognised for their contribution and effort.

“Ms Shannon has made an outstanding contribution to the lives of senior residents in our local community through her work.”

“Today is about recognising Mary, but it is also about giving a focus to the many people who give their time to help others in this way.”

“I would encourage everyone who is able, to get involved with programs like these. They enrich the lives of all involved.”

“Mary is an absolute asset to our community. I want to congratulate her on her achievement. I would also like to thank her, on behalf of the community, for all the work she does,” said Anthony Albanese.

People interested in volunteering can visit http://www.iwna.com.au or call Inner West Neighbour Aid on 9799 5099.