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A 22-year-old town planner at the City of Canterbury Bankstown has won a prestigious award from the Australia Youth Trust for his volunteer work including as a Sydney surf life-saver.
Michael Bonnici was presented the Tom Harvey Award for Citizenship at Parliament House by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, Governor of New South Wales last Monday.
Having worked for his local Blood Bank, Meals on Wheels, Samaritan’s Purse and at Wanda Surf Life Saving Club since the age of 13, Michael has volunteered more than 2,000 hours over almost a decade of community service.
A passion for volunteering was started with the help of his school year adviser.
"I was always looking for something different to do, to put myself out of my comfort zone and my school year adviser recommended I get involved in volunteering," he said.
"I was a student ambassador for the local Blood Bank organising and encouraging people at my school to donate blood – I’ve had a passion for volunteering ever since."
Michael said he isn’t sure who nominated him for the award: "It came out of the blue, but I was very honoured and humbled," he said.
Beach safety is one area Michael has especially committed to, speaking to over 1,000 primary school children in regional NSW and communities from non-English speaking backgrounds.
"I’m passionate about what I do, and I hope everyone can find some spare time in their busy lives to give that little bit extra."
Mayor Khal Asfour also congratulated Michael: "A huge congratulations to Michael for his outstanding contribution to our community, what a brilliant example for all young people."
The Tom Harvey for Citizenship has been awarded to an outstanding young Australian between the age of 15 and 30 since 2001.
The Australia Youth Trust was established by the Commonwealth Day Council of NSW and was launched by the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
For more information about our city, visit www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au
20/04/2020 3:44 PM