Citizen awards

This year’s Australia Day was very special.  I had the privilege of officiating at a Citizenship Ceremony for 100 brand new Australian citizens.  Before that I announced the Hobsons Bay Citizens of the Year for 2013: Doug Heywood is overall Top Citizen while the Young Citizen award went to two outstanding teenagers, Joel Kuperholz and Oussama Abou-Zeid.  These two inspiring young men founded a unique footy club called MuJu (slang for Muslim-Jewish). MuJu is a Peace Club which plays in the AFL’s Unity Cup competition, a 9-a-side comp created as part of the AFL’s multicultural outreach program.  Joel and Oussama might have different backgrounds and addresses but their leadership has brought together a bunch of footy-mad kids and built bridges between  two cultures and communities.  The boys’ acceptance speeches had us all spell bound and bursting with pride at the dazzling talent that resides in our community’s young.    Doug Heywood is a musical impresario whose contribution to Hobsons Bay’s musical culture and the performance arts over many years is incalculable.  And way beyond our borders.  He’s been muscial director of Channel 9’s Carols by Candlelight for 25 years and of course the local musical messiah who’s brought us Handel’s mighty Oratorio for the past 16 years.  I’m looking forward to the great contribution of these oustanding citizens.

Citizen of the Year Doug Heywood and joint Young Top Citizens Joel Kuperholz and Oussama Abou-Zeid after today's announcement.  A special Australia Day.
Citizen of the Year Doug Heywood and joint Young Top Citizens Joel Kuperholz and Oussama Abou-Zeid after their announcement. A special Australia Day.