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Bankstown’s modest dim sum chef George Poon has all the ingredients to be named the 2020 Canterbury-Bankstown Citizen of the Year.
For more than 15 years, the 77-year-old retiree has grown to become the go-to person for many of the community’s most isolated people in times of need.
Maria Cheng, who nominated Mr Poon for the award, said he has consistenly “devoted himself to the work of helping others less fortunate”.
“He continuously helps those who find themselves living in isolation because they don’t speak English, and he voluntarily endeavours to foster mutual understanding by encouraging people to integrate more into our society,” she said.
Mr Poon said his desire to help others comes from “my heart” and was not expecting to receive the Citizen of the Year Award on Australia Day.
“I’m very happy to receive the award. Australia has given me a peaceful life with not too many worries, and I like the freedoms and equality we’re able to enjoy,” he said.
“When I came to Australia from Hong Kong in 1974, I did not speak any English and life was not easy. But I found many people were willing to help me and were very kind to me. So, it’s good to give that back and offer what help you can, whether people are strangers or friends, because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes.”
Mayor Khal Asfour said he was glad to announce Mr Poon as the recipient of this year’s Citizen of the Year Award.
“We are proud and grateful to have Mr Poon living in our City and giving back so much. The award recognises his commitment and dedication to the community, which he serves out of the goodness of his own heart,” he said.
Mr Poon has played a key role in developing the CASS Residential Aged Care Facility at Campsie and the Hua Xing community support activity group. He’s also delivered programs for many senior Chinese-speaking residents, and in 2016, earned the Centre for Volunteering’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
21/02/2020 4:20 PM