Town planner scores a win for volunteering

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 with the Tom Harvey Award for Citizenship at Parliament House by NSW Governor Margaret Beazley 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.
Mayor Khal Asfour said: “A huge congratulations to Michael for his outstanding contribution to our community, what a brilliant example for all young people.”