Celebrating volunteers and Manningham’s 2023 Order of Australia recipients

19 May 2023
Healthy Community

National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to celebrate local heroes who have given so much of themselves and their time to the Manningham community! 

During Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers, we again acknowledge Manningham’s 2023 Order of Australia recipients, following formal acknowledgment at the February Council meeting.

Congratulations Inaam Barakat, Peter Clifford Burns, Gifford Ernest Hatfield, Dorothy Haynes and Rwth Stuckey, who received their medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) general division last month at a ceremony at Government House.

We asked former Deputy Mayor, Dot Haynes about how she felt about volunteering and receiving this accolade, where she explained that her love for and connection to community motivates her.

“This is a great honour for which I am grateful. It’s my joy to serve the community and I will continue to strive to serve in whatever way I can. My dad instilled into me the belief that ‘people matter!’ This belief, the encouragement of my friends, and the blessing that comes from helping and serving others have all motivated me to serve my community in whatever way I can. People do indeed matter and this award, I feel recognises that fact.” 

The Medal of the Order of Australia is awarded to those with outstanding service, commendable of recognition. To be in the running for the award a person needs to be nominated by someone in the community.

Recipients have a speciality in the field they are receiving their OAM for:

Ms Inaam Barakat, Templestowe Lower

For service to the multicultural communities of Victoria.  

Ms Barakat is a current a member of Harmony Alliance, the co-ordinator for Arabic Women Social Connection and is the Senior Community Development Officer in the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre as well as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Mr Peter Clifford Burns, Warrandyte

For service to community and to youth. 

Since 1992 Mr Burns has been a consistence leader for the Young Men’s Christian Association finishing his role in 2020 as the Mission Chief Executive. He has previously been awarded the Outstanding Service to the National and International Young Men’s Christian Association Movement (2019). 

Mr Gifford Ernest Hatfield, Doncaster

For service to youth through Scouts and to the community. 

Mr Hatfield has made a vast contribution to Scouts Victoria since 1954 as an adult leader, was awarded the 65 Year Service Award in 2020 and now has life member position. He is a Parish Council Member for the Koonung Heights Uniting Church and a member of the Box Hill Historical Society. 

Ms Dorothy Haynes, former Deputy Mayor, Doncaster East

For service to the community of Doncaster. 

As a previous Manningham Councillor (2012-2020) and former Deputy Mayor Ms Haynes has made a significant impact on Manningham. She is the former treasurer and president for the Manningham Interfaith Network and is the current secretary for the Doncaster Branch of Returned and Services League of Australia as well as a current member of the Doncaster Templestowe Historical Society, St Gregory the Great Catholic Church and Doncaster Garden Club.

Dr Margaret Rwth Stuckey, Doncaster

For service to community health. 

Dr Stuckey is a current Associate Professor and Course Co-ordinator in Ergonomics, Safety, and Health for Latrobe University. She has been a committee member for Riding for the Disabled, Viewbank since 2012 and has made contributions to the organisation such as being a board member, advisor and chair for the Occupation Health and Safety and Risk Management Committee. She has also been a board member for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Victoria and is a member of St Peter’s Anglican Church.

Inaam Barakat, who has worked closely with migrant communities, shared the passion behind her work.

“In the last 40 years, I have been supporting overseas qualified professionals, women, refugees, and asylum seekers and helped them settle into our wonderful country that is Australia.

I have witnessed people achieve their dreams and aspirations. Seeing the positive outcomes for these individuals and their communities drives my passion and commitment to support them. I'm grateful to be a resident in this good municipality with such a beautiful community.”

Rwth Stuckey’s work in occupational health inspired her to volunteer from early in her career and she hasn’t stopped.  Even through enduring Multiple Sclerosis for the last 35 years Dr Stuckey says she has always found a way to be involved in the community.

“It’s not about having a disability, or my background and career in occupational therapy, it’s because I like to be involved and I think community is truly important. If there is something that interests me and I have skills that I can contribute, I want to be able to use them for more than just myself.”

This year’s awards recognised and celebrated 1,047 recipients, including 736 in the General Division of the Order of Australian and awards meritorious, distinguished, and conspicuous service.

Manningham Mayor, Deirdre Diamante congratulated the award recipients and thanked them for their contributions. 

“Dot, Peter, Inaam, Gifford and Rwth have contributed outstanding service to our community. I am so proud Manningham is home to such dedicated and extraordinary people who are willing to devote their time, energy and passion for others.”