“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for the ZEST Awards. Community organisations, and the people who lead them help build Greater Western Sydney as a more civil and engaged society. They deserve to be recognised for the important role they play.”
Peter Shergold AC is the Chancellor of the Western Sydney University. In this capacity he is actively engaged with the communities of Greater Western Sydney. Peter was an Australian public servant for two decades and from 2003-2008 he served as Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Whilst he is a non-executive director on the boards of AMP Limited, Veda Group and Corrs Chambers Westgarth he also finds a great deal of satisfaction in working for the not-for-profit arena. He has been chair of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and a member of the General Sir John Monash Foundation. Presently he is deputy chair of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and patron of the Left Right Think Tank. He also chairs a range of government boards and councils in the areas of Indigenous Affairs, tertiary education, aged care and public administration.
Prior to entering public life David worked as an Urban Planner and adviser to the Minister for Planning. At 30 years of age, he became the youngest person to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Parramatta where he served for three terms.
In 2007 Borger was elected to represent the Granville electorate in the NSW Parliament. He served as Minister for Western Sydney, Minister for Housing, Minister for Roads as well as Assistant Minister for Transport in the NSW Government. As Housing Minister he oversaw the construction of approximately 9,000 new social housing dwellings – including 6,300 through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. Following the 2011 election David, along with Adam Byrnes, established Think Planners, a busy planning firm with a focus on Western Sydney.
“On behalf of the Western Sydney Wanderers I am delighted to be involved in an Awards ceremony that celebrates one of the most diverse and dynamic regions in Australia. The Wanderers are more than just a sporting team, we strive to be a major contributor and positive part of the community itself, and we congratulate all ZEST Awards nominees for the role that they play in making Western Sydney a thriving, progressive community. I congratulate all of those involved in staging this initiative and look forward to being a part of the celebrations.”
Lyall Gorman has over 30 years experience in senior management, project management and administration in both the Public and Private sectors. In November 2004 he took up the position of founding CEO and subsequently Executive Chairman of the Central Coast Mariners, one of the eight founding clubs in the new national football competition, the Hyundai A-League.
In June 2010 he was appointed by Football Federation Australia as Head of the Hyundai A-League and in May 2012 as the founding Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers. Among other commitments he is a Member of the Asian Football Confederation Ad-Hoc Committee for Professional Football for past five years, President of Western Sydney First Regional Advisory Council 2013 and NSW Government appointed Director of Parramasala in 2013.
“ZEST showcases ordinary people that do work from the grass roots. I was so excited to be awarded the trophy for Community Volunteer in 2012 – it meant a lot to me to be recognised. That’s what ZEST is all about – letting people know that someone notices their work. I’m pleased to be part of ZEST Ambassadors Program”
Aunty Carol Cooper has been the backbone of the reconciliation movement in the Blue Mountains for the past 20 years. She is a descendant of both the Gundungura people and the Darug people and generously shares her culture and understandings with a wide range of people from schools, community organisations and communities. She is a founding member of Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre (ACRC) and long term member of Blue Mountains People for Reconciliation.
Aunty Carol’s contribution is extensive and not limited to her own people. As well as volunteering for the ACRC, she also assists at Great Community Transport, Katoomba North School Koori Club, Upper Mountains Basketball Association and the Katoomba Winter Magic Festival. Aunty Carol is part of the Blue Mountains East Timor Sister’s project and was an invited delegate to the second International Women for Peace Conference in Dili, Timor-Leste in 2009.
“I want to encourage people to share their success stories at helping others and the impact of what they have done to their local community and society at large. The ZEST Awards is an ideal platform for others to get an inspiration from ordinary people doing extraordinary service to the community. The multiplier effect of such good work is what makes sharing worth living!”
Dr Cen Amores is an outstanding community volunteer leader. She is the founding President of the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc (APCO), appointed one of the 40 People of Australia Ambassador (for multiculturalism) by PM Gillard in 2011, appointed member of the NSW Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee and NSW Ministerial Multicultural Advisory in 2012. She was awarded a commendation at UWS’ Women of the West in 2012 and a finalist of the Auburn Citizen of the Year 2012.
Cen is a founding member of the Auburn Small Community Network (ASCON) and had managed the cultural presentations of the annual Flavours of Auburn Festival. She is chair for membership development of the Kapitbahayan Cooperative Ltd, NSW’s top tenant-managed coop housing provider and the Australian winner the of very prestigious 2012 Philippines’ Global Heroes award. Cen is also the Producer/Broadcaster of the Radyo Mabuhay program on Community Radio (100.9 fm) and an honorary Board Member of the Philippine Australian Cultural Foundation.
Cen was awarded the Outstanding Community Leader in a Volunteer Capacity Award in the 2013 ZEST Awards.
“I am very proud to be an Ambassador of the ZEST Awards and look forward to promoting the great work that is being done by the community sector and all who work in it. I commend the ZEST Awards for providing a platform where our people and community groups can be celebrated.”
Irene Ross has many years experience working in both the community and private sectors. Her work in the community sector included Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW and Manager of the Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre.
She has returned to working in the private sector and now runs her own consultancy, specialising in small business growth, coaching and leadership development. Still active as a community leader, Irene is involved in many organisations including: TAFE NSW- Western Sydney Institute Advisory Council, NSW Representative Business and Professional Women (BPW) Australia, BPW Global Compact Network Australia Coordinator, Local Employment Coordinator Sydney West & Blue Mountains Advisory Committee and Growing Community-Business Partnerships in Parramatta.
“Giving back to the community leads to multiple benefits. You’re not only giving to the community – you’re increasing your professionalism, especially if it’s something your passionate about”
Luke Penrith is a proud Aboriginal man from the Wiradjuri tribe of south west NSW and with cultural connection of the Yuin tribe of the NSW south Coast. At a young age, he was passionate about community service by devoting a lot of his spare time in helping other young Indigenous people be proud of who they are and dream big.
Over the past 14 years Luke has worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service as well as working as a Court and Community Field Officer and Employment Consultant Area Manager in far West NSW. Currently employed with AFL NSW/ACT as the Indigenous Academies Manager for the past six years, Luke has shown strong leadership and extensive skills in working with Aboriginal communities across NSW and the ACT.
In late 2012, Luke founded Savvy_Penny Inc. an Aboriginal non-profit organisation that facilitates cultural, sporting and community programs for young Indigenous people across NSW/ACT and Victoria. With three young children, Luke is still giving his time running sporting activities with young people in the Greater West on a regular basis.
“The ZEST Awards are a great opportunity to showcase the amazing contributions of extraordinary people right across Greater Western Sydney. I’m proud to be a ZEST Ambassador and look forward to celebrating the great achievements of the year right across our community.”
Natasha Lay has been an advocate for young people in Western Sydney since she first joined the Liverpool Youth Council in 2006, being elected Chairperson of the Youth Council two years running. During and after her time on Youth Council, Natasha served on various committees that worked to advocate for and improve the lives of young people in Western Sydney. She was a member of YPAC (Youth Week planning committee) for 2 years and was also appointed to the Premiers Council for Women.
Natasha was awarded the Outstanding Youth Leader in the inaugural ZEST Awards in 2011. More recently, Natasha applied for a grant to run a youth leadership program that she wrote and developed herself along the lines of a mentorship model to specifically assist young people in the 2168 postcode area to realise their personal goals.
“Many hands make light work, because l am because you are and together we can make a difference.”
Oliver Zvinaiye Maboreke is a community development practitioner with experience in community capacity building, liaison and engagement, international development, youth work, community health, community education and training, sector development and communication, gender mainstreaming. Originally from Zimbabwe, Oliver is currently working at Western Sydney University as a Project Officer – Refugees, New and Emerging. In this role, he works collaboratively with communities and related stakeholders to promote access to higher education for Refugees, New and Emerging communities. One of the mile stone to date is the promotion of scholarship opportunities available at WSU and supporting low access communities to access them. Oliver has also previously worked with refugees and humanitarian arrivals in the CSP – Community Support and SRSS Program Settlement Services International.
Oliver is actively involved with the Zimbabwean community as a leader working with young people in areas of mental health, Youth sports and recreation, as well as sexual health. He also works on various community development initiatives run through Forward in Faith Ministries International Western Sydney and NSW at large.
He is also involved with the African-Australian community as African Think Tank Board member and is a member of the AFAO National Reference Group on HIV/AIDS in Australia. Oliver has also held various roles with the Victoria Multicultural Commission, ECCV and is currently actively involved with the Sydney Alliance. Throughout his selfless community oriented work, Oliver has devoted much of his life at promoting an inclusive, respectful and consultative approach for the Australian CALD Community. One of the highlights of his community work has been a part of the pioneering African Think Tank team to initiate the first African – Australian leadership Training program, which has been running since 2009.
“The ZEST Awards allows organizations and our community to celebrate success in every sense of the word. The values of the human spirit and helping people achieve their goals with dignity exemplify the real meaning of these prestigious awards. Congratulations and may they always continue.”
Jim’s career began as a teacher and Deputy Principal of a Catholic High School. In 1987, he entered the financial services industry, and successfully developed his businesses to service nearly 5,000 clients. Jim speaks at financial services conferences and seminars both in Australia and Internationally, and is currently providing financial adviser soft skill training and education throughout Australia.
In 2012, Jim attained Adjunct Professorship with Notre Dame University, Australia. He has been actively involved in community activities such as the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, Local Chambers of Commerce, was Chairman for the Sydney 2000 Olympics Fundraising Committee for Western Sydney, is a past Chairman of the Board for TAFE – Western Sydney District, past Board member of Cumberland Industries Limited, and is a current Board member of the LNA (Landscape NSW & ACT Limited), North West Disability Services, Western Sydney Academy of Sport and chairs the fundraising committee for the Academy. Jim received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Australia Day honours.
“Often individuals and organisations give so much to the community without recognition. The ZEST Awards are about recognising best practice, innovation and hard work in Greater Western Sydney.”
Mary Haiek has worked for Barnardos Australia for 13 years, 10 of these in Auburn Children’s Family Centre, in Western Sydney. She has worked directly with children, young people and families as well as managed a Family Support and Preservation program and Temporary Accommodation programs. Mary is a key element to the operation of Barnardos’ mission through her community engagement and advocacy for children and young people. Mary is passionate about her work and that of Barnardos and continually strives to ensure better outcomes for children, young people and families.
“You don’t need money to make real change, just passion, resilience and a healthy amount of will power and sense of purpose. As a previous ZEST award winner myself, I am extremely appreciative for the opportunities and network connections that I was able to develop as a direct result of this inspiring organisation. It is a true honour to now be an ambassador for an organisation that actively celebrates the wonderful achievements of the Western Sydney community.”
When Jen Armstrong left an extremely violent marriage in 2012 with nothing but her two infant children and a few items, she had no idea how she would support herself and children.
Now she is the 2016 NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year, Cronulla Woman of the Year, a Western Sydney University student, Executive Officer at the MARCS Institute, Mum and foster carer.
She also founded The Beauty Bank, a charity that provides life’s little luxuries for those in need. In just over four years The Beauty Bank has helped bring a smile to the face of over 6,000 women and men in the form of large gift bags of toiletries and beauty items, with the charity growing rapidly with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers who collect and distribute over $450,000 of toiletry gift packs annually.
Powered by determination, passion and a strong sense of business Jen was a 2015 ZEST award winner in the WSU Unsung Hero category. As a leadership speaker she uses her experience to educate about domestic violence, the power of resilience and how anyone can change the world through challenging their own boundaries, having a strong community focus and thinking outside the box.