[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]JBM Annual Report 2011-2012

Chairperson’s Report Dr Naomi Ngo

I am pleased to present the John Byrne Memorial (JBM) Annual Report 2012‑2013, which provides an informative account of our organisation’s work and financial performance.

As can be seen in this report, the JBM continues the work of a special man – John Byrne – by providing scholarships and financial support to disadvantaged refugee and asylum seeker young people pursuing educational opportunities in Australia.

The achievements of the JBM involve the commitment, passion and hard work of many people, most of whom have contributed in a voluntary capacity. The composition of our Executive Committee and Scholarship Committee have remained stable over the year and all members indicated their willingness to continue to work in their roles into the new year.

Executive Committee Members

  • Naomi Ngo (Chairperson)
  • Annette Byrne-Phillips (Secretary)
  • Denis Grant (Treasurer)
  • Carmel Guerra (Deputy Chair)
  • Peter Phillips
  • Mark Walsh
  • Judy Cain.

Scholarship Committee Members

  • Naomi Ngo (Chairperson)
  • Annette Byrne-Phillips (Secretary)
  • Mary Spyropoulos (Western English Language School)
  • Leah White (Maribyrnong Secondary School)
  • Judy Cain
  • Peter Phillips

I would also like to express gratitude and appreciation to the following people and organisations who have provided their valuable support and contributed to the JBM this year:

  • Centre for Multicultural Youth
  • Roz Dermondy
  • iCmotion
  • Norman & Lee Palumbo from Just Planet
  • Janis Webb

JBM Scholarships

As in past years, the JBM awarded two scholarships to students studying in the Western Region of Melbourne – a tertiary scholarship for someone studying at Victoria University and a secondary scholarship for a student at Maribyrnong Secondary College. The purpose of the scholarships is to assist young people from low income families who are new arrivals to Australia from a refugee or asylum-seeker background.

Victoria University (VU)

Following a promotion and application process in June 2012, VU appointed a panel to select the successful recipient of the John Byrne Scholarship. A total of thirty-five applicants were assessed as eligible for the John Byrne Scholarship on the basis of meeting the criteria for citizenship; age; being refugees who had arrived in Australia in the last five years. All applicants demonstrated financial hardship and were given further consideration. Thirty were excluded on the basis of being enrolled in courses of less than twelve months. The remaining five applicants were assessed.

The successful 2012 recipient was Mrs Ak Derya. Ak, 33 years of age, arrived in Australia in 2010 from Turkey as a political refugee. She received her permanent residence in 2011. At the time she received the scholarship, she was enrolled on a full time basis in Diploma of Liberal Arts. She completed her first semester of this course with an average of Distinctions (scores in the seventies).

An updated Memorandum of Understanding between the JBM and VU was signed on 12 October 2012 for 2012 and 2013. In May the JBM Executive, acting on a recommendation from the Scholarship Committee, approved an increase to the VU scholarship amount from $1000 to $1500 per annum for the next two years. This will come into effect with the 2014 scholarship.

Maribyrnong Secondary College

The John Byrne Scholarship recipient selection for 2013 is year 11 student, Bethlehem Bezabeh. Bethlehem and her two sisters were sponsored to Australia by their aunt and uncle. Within three months of the girls’ arrival, their uncle was diagnosed and died from leukaemia. The girls, their aunt and their grandmother live together and the grandmother is ill and receives regular dialysis. Bethlehem has been described by her teachers as a diligent, hard-working student whose focus is on the future, not the trauma of the past. She is a good natured student who tries her best and has a positive attitude to all people who she interacts with in the school community. She has a bright future and is working hard to make the most of her opportunities at Maribyrnong Secondary College and her new life in Australia.

With specific funding from an anonymous donor, the JBM also makes available a special John Byrne Spirit Award available to a student from Maribyrnong Secondary College nominated by staff for demonstrating the same community spirit and generosity as John. The recipient for 2013 was a year 12 student named, Hiep Do. Despite being an excellent academic student with high expectations of himself and his own future academic and overall life goals, Hiep makes great contributions to the school life at Maribyrnong College. He has always been a polite, positive and helpful student both in the classroom and in many extracurricular activities that include:

  • Taking on the role of sound technician/audio helper in the 2012 school production, which he also held in previous years.
  • Being a valued member of the Maribyrnong badminton community, participating in Development Squad and Academy sessions and Friday night competitions. Hiep always arrives early to help set up and stay late to help pack up. He also helps with draws and any other organisation needed.
  • Attending many junior Badminton Development sessions and volunteering to help younger students to develop their skills in a coaching capacity.
  • Taking part in the school leadership team (School Captain) and is a valued member of the SRC. Hiep plays large roles in any school fundraising activities, often advertising events, collecting money or fulfilling logistical tasks eg. Jeans for Jeans Day and Daffiodil Day.
  • Officiating all SRC Soccer matches held in the gym for the year.

Hiep has stated, ‘I like helping people, it’s what I enjoy’. As a result, he has many community interests that include competing in the Altona Badminton Association CI doubles competition on Thursday nights, (Hiep has encouraged many other students to join this association outside of school), being a member of the local Vietnamese Community Soccer Club, teaching and coaching younger people how to play soccer.

Hiep clearly contributes much time, passion and spirit to the school community and also the larger community. He is a well-liked and respected student amongst staff, his peers and younger students at the College. Hiep’s teachers have described him as a “fantastic role model for younger students”.

Financial Suport

The Western English Language School (WELS) is a multi-campus Victorian government school providing high quality English as an Additional Language (EAL) programs for primary and secondary aged students at a number of sites in the South Western Region of Victoria. Eligible students are provided with teaching programs which focus on providing them with the English language skills and cultural understanding they need, to participate successfully in Australian schooling systems and society.

Over the past few years the JBM has established a relationship with the WELS campus at Braybrook. Since 2008 the JBM has provided funding to WELS in Braybrook for the purpose of providing financial assistance to eligible students who may otherwise not be able to satisfactorily complete their studies. The money has been used by the school to purchase travel tickets for students living in the Western region to use public transport to attend classes.

In 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding was developed and signed to formalise the support provided by the JBM to WELS. While the funding was initially set at $1000 per year for two years, an increase in the cost of MYKI six-monthly tickets this year saw the JBM Executive Committee increase the provision of funds to $1,600 to cover the costs of 6 X 6 monthly tickets per year.

Fundraising Events

Film Event

The 2013 JBM Film Event – The Great Gatsby was held on Sunday 2nd June 2013 at Palace Cinemas – Kino. With an attendance of 64 patrons, an amount of $832.00 was raised in addition to anonymous donations of $195.00. Once again, feed-back was positive with supporters enjoying the pre-movie refreshments and commenting that they look forward to this fundraiser each year.

The JBM would like to thank the Zeccola family and Kino Cinemas for supporting the event.

Trivia Night

A successful and enjoyable JBM Trivia Night was held in the Conference Room at the Edmund Rice Education Centre, Richmond on Saturday 11 August 2012. Mark Walsh, JBM Executive Committee member and trivia master extraordinaire, oversaw activities on the night with a perfect blend of old fashioned fun and state of the art technology. With a dinner voucher for Brown Sugar Thai the prize for the winning table, competition was fierce but all in the spirit of the evening. A total of $2,488.20 was raised.

The JBM would like to thank Edmund Rice Education Australia and Sarapee from Brown Sugar Thai for sponsoring this event.

Maribyrnong Secondary College Class of ’82 Reunion

When John Byrne was on the staff at Maribyrnong Secondary College he was passionate about encouraging all students to reach their potential and they loved him for his belief in them. It was no surprise that when the Class of ’82 got together for a 30 year reunion they decided to hold a raffle in his memory with proceeds going to the JBM. They donated a total of $330.00 from that celebration.

Promotion of the JBM

Early this year the JBM Executive Committee reviewed the JBM website and other forms of communication used to promote our purpose and activities. As a result, we have engaged a digital agency to redesign our website, explore alternative colours for our letterhead and design a pull‑up banner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]