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The A.H. Beard Community Hero Award celebrates heroes and/or volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the community. These women are positive role models who inspire others to contribute to the community too.

Professor Fadia Ghossayn

Fadia Ghossayn

Fadia founded the Australian Lebanese Foundation in 2001 at The University of Sydney. The Foundation provides scholarships that require multi faith membership. Additionally, Fadia heads another Foundation that runs an Academy that annually calls for 15 young people from Australia to go to Lebanon to train on how to be a responsible Australian citizen. Fadia has made achievements in inspiring and mentoring young Lebanese in Australia to reach their full potential and strive for their goals while embracing Australian values.

Through raising funds for scholarships and providing opportunities for all across the board, her tenacity has resulted in better cultural understanding and cooperation between Lebanese and Australian people, providing positive role models for new migrants and refugees. Not only has Fadia worked tirelessly to advocate for cultural cohesion and harmony through her work for the Australian Lebanese Foundation, she has also made an outstanding contribution by advocating for special projects and acting as a liaison between various agencies, while supporting numerous charities.

Mrs Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly

Kathy is the co-founder of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation (TKYF), a charity fostering a more responsible drinking culture through education and initiatives targeting youth, families, sporting groups, and the broader community, as well as through strong advocacy to local, state and federal government.

Take care is what we say to our loved ones when we say goodbye. Building on this, and using Thomas’ initials, Take Kare is the Foundation’s central platform to instigate behavioural and social change around alcohol and drinking habits.  The TKYF raised $1.4 million for a Safe Space in Sydney’s CBD and Darlinghurst on Friday and Saturday nights.  Take Kare volunteers in high-vis jackets assist in defusing conflict, stopping sexual assault and helping intoxicated young people.  Since December 2014 there has been over 20,000 preventive interactions to support the vision of ‘getting all of our children home safely’.  Parents will never know that their children are home safe and sound as a result of this program.  Kathy is a devoted ambassador for this cause and her voice has resonated across many communities and families in NSW giving the need for change a face and a call to action creating positive outcomes.

Ms Brenda Miley

Brenda Miley

Brenda has changed the face of women's surfing in Australia. As an ex-champion surfer she pioneered her Learn to Surf School from a Kombi van on Bondi Beach in 1995. Brenda founded the Bondi Girls Surf Riders Club in 1999 and over time has mentored hundreds of women. She continues donating her time to community surfing programs, volunteering her time and resources across NSW by organising and delivering community learn to surf and beach safety programs. These include Vets GO Surfing and Indigenous programs such as Weave Youth and Community Services. Brenda is recognised for her enthusiasm, commitment to small businesses, community approach and having a positive outlook that inspires others.

Ms Cate Turner

Cate Turner

Cate has made a significant contribution to the community and is an inspiring role model for women. Cate is a past state chair of the Older Women's Network advocating for the rights, dignity and wellbeing of older women in NSW. She is also past President of the Sydney Lion's Club, the first woman in this role, and is the current organiser of the annual Centenarians Function at Government House for the Sydney Lion's Club. Cate provided 10 years as a reader on radio station 2RPH, reading newspapers and magazines for the sight impaired, and continues to volunteer at age 87 in a variety of roles.

Cate has spent a lifetime promoting the rights of all women advocating for better conditions in the areas of health, housing, and poverty.  Cate has also served as treasurer for some fifteen years for the Lane Cove Residents for Reconciliation in recognition of the first peoples of this country.  As a resident of Lane Cove she served for some years on Lane Cove Council Cammeraygal Festival Committee.  She has been a past Convenor of the Women’s Electoral Lobby and a member for 25 Years.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019