Geelong volunteer Pat Smith has been named as the Victorian Senior of the Year at a special awards ceremony to kick start the 2013 Victorian Seniors Festival.
Minister for Ageing David Davis presented 14 awards honouring the extraordinary contribution of inspirational senior Victorians during the 2013 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards at Government House.
“Pat Smith, 80, of Highton, devotes an enormous amount of volunteer time to Uniting Care Geelong,” Mr Davis said. “She was honoured for her pastoral care and support for vulnerable people, coordination of emergency relief support and for establishing the Education Assistance Program. “The Education Assistance Program helps vulnerable students and their families to ensure the students continue schooling. The program assisted 437 students in 2012/13.
“Pat is a person with great compassion and is a leading light within the Geelong community. “Within the Geelong schools network, she is known as the person to turn to when seeking to help a young person continue their education.”
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos congratulated Mrs Smith for her Award and commended her on an extraordinary contribution to the community.
“Pat is an inspiration and her tireless work and passion is a great gift to our community and she is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious Award,” Mr Katos said.
Mr Davis said the awards honour the remarkable achievements of senior Victorians and highlight the benefits of ageing well and keeping active, healthy and involved in the community.
“Seniors from across Victoria are recognised for their inspiring volunteer work, talents and achievements, as well as encouraging active lifestyles and promoting cultural diversity,” Mr Davis said.
For more information on the 2013 Victorian Seniors Festival and for a full list of award recipients visit www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au