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The Lake News community hero celebration

The Lake News    December 14, 2023    8 min read   

I would like to begin by saying thank you to every single reader who has read and been inspired by my community spotlight monthly articles. It is hard not to shed a tear or two when reflecting on what these articles mean to me and all who have been part of this journey in 2023. 

I’m delighted that with the support of Paul Jackson and the team at the Lake News Publications that we can shine a light on our “community champions,” especially when we live in a world that can bring so much joy and hardship at the same time. In the beginning, my goal was to shine a light on those quiet achievers who do incredible volunteer work for others – those local heroes that go about their day giving up their time and skills to better the lives of those around us. They live their lives knowing being kind is a strength, not a weakness, and inspire the importance of being valued, not used. I want the community to be inspired by leadership that is driven by kindness and hard work, and especially leaders who reflect our diverse and First Nations communities. 

All the champions from this year have experienced hardship – but none have been defined by it. Ultimately, though, what I have learned is that these articles do more than what I had set out to do. I have loved hearing from readers who continually tell me how much they look forward to reading about their incredibly talented neighbours. I’ve loved hearing stories of people receiving much-needed help and that they have found strength in not letting anyone tell them they can’t achieve something. I’ve loved meeting and reaching out to the interviewees who have been inspired to help others and have become role models not only for themselves but to members of their family. 

And I have especially loved learning about those whose acts of public service reflect their values, heritage, and way of life. The best I can give to others this Christmas is a hope that there are good people in our communities who will continue to change the leadership landscape – not letting their gender, age, colour of their skin, language, or financial background get in the way of becoming a leader. 

I will forever be grateful to my newfound Local News Publications family who have worked tirelessly in the background with me. To Paul, Jamie, Daniel, Tracy, Corin, Shontae, Francis, Royce – you have given everyone a place to shine, and a chance to have a voice where people listen and can be seen and heard.

If you would like to chat about featuring in next year’s Community Spotlight, please feel free to call me on 0424 404 303.

You can revisit any of the articles below by visiting thelakenews.com.au/ and searching for each of the candidates names.

Kylie Gates 

It goes without saying my first ever “Community Hero” for the Lake News continues since our first interview has not stopped uniting the Forest Lake community and surrounding suburbs, with her team of volunteers by hosting countless events and fundraising funds for much needed not-for-profit organisations. 

This selfless and hardworking mother of two boys continues to inspire our next generation and women leaders who want to change the lives of others for the better.. For many years, she has rolled up her sleeves and goten the job done. 

Its never too late to read about this incredible local mother of two who loves, volunteers and is committed to bringing joy to our community. 

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link:  https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2648843#page/9 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

Linh Nguyen 

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Linh is an intelligent, young, beautiful, and hardworking volunteer who wears her heart on her sleeve. Linh, as a Vietnamese migrant, has drawn strength and shares the knowledge with compassion to improve the lives of anyone she comes across. We were all moved by a resident who reached out to Lihn to thank her for bringing his art to light, and bringing darkness into light. Such powerful words – and what a gift to build someone with kindness. Lihn is uniting residents young and old from all walks of life as the President of the Inala Art Gallery.

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link: https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2648847#page/36 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

Adeline Moy 

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It is incredibly rewarding to be hearing from residents how much their lives improved after reading about local Forest Lake resident Community Spotlight Hero, Adeline Moy – otherwise known as Mrs Daisy.  Her kindness touched the hearts of so many readers who know first hand, or know someone who has found themselves needing a helping hand.  

This world is a better place because of her ability to go above and beyond in her call of duty to support those who are most vulnerable, and it is a joy to let The Lake News readers know that she continues to support so many local residents in the lead up to the festive season. If you missed her article feel free to visit the Lake News page or scan the code. 

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link:  https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2648845#page/6 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

Jagdeep Singh Bhinder

For Jagdeep Bhinder, kindness, authentic leadership, and community spirit continues to have no boundaries. Always with a big smile that lights up any room, he continues to place our community first along with his family.  His passion to support the current and next generation to stay fit and healthy is commendable. A fond memory is of a Forest Lake resident that I had never met say how she and her family looked forward to each month’s community hero spotlight article, and how much is meant to her and her family to read about someone who reflects our diverse and multicultural community.

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link: https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2653398#page/15 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode: 

Jackie Lewis 

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Oral Health comes first! Thank you local Jackie Lewis for making sure that income doesn’t get in the way of receiving good oral health advice and assistance. Too often, barriers to health are directly linked to cultural and language barriers and income. People shouldn’t need to suffer with preventable illnesses. Jackie’s volunteer work is so valuable and welcomed. We love our Forest Lake very own tooth fairy who continues to bring a sparkle in the lives of all who reach out to her. 

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link: https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2653400#page/2 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

Leroy Berrett 

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Myself, alongside so many, have witnessed first-hand the incredible work that Leroy is doing with the next generation of “Top Gun Mavericks.” A few near-death experiences along the way taught him to value and cherish life every day and the importance of guiding our youth in the right direction of decision making.  Every year on ANZAC Day, Remembrance day and similar events it is truly moving to see how proud the community are of all the Australian Air league – Forest Lake Squadron cadets.

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link:  https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2653402#page/18 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

Dung Pham 

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Our last Lake News community hero spotlight for 2023. What better way to end it for this year than with Dung whose motto is, “Be kind and be nice whenever possible.” Dung and her daughter are now familiar faces in our multicultural community. Their volunteering is uniting and changing the face of our community. I love that volunteering is as easy as saying ,1,2,3 to her and her family, and that she respects the teaching of her elders. She gracefully inspires and empowers her daughter and those around her by reinforcing the importance of a good  education and how you look should never be a barrier to being successful. Beauty is within and outside and using language to help others is a priceless gift. 

You can revisit the full article by clicking on this link: https://digital.magmgr.com/Preview/Index/2653404#page/3 

You can revisit the Magazine by scanning the barcode:

About Nayda:

Upon immigrating to Australia due to a civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s, Nayda Hernandez initially settled with her family at the Wacol rehoming centre, and then later relocated into a housing arrangement in Inala.

Educated in Logan, Nayda is currently living in Forest Lake, where her son also attends school.

Nayda is passionate about youth, mental health awareness, empowering women, promoting culture and inclusion, domestic violence awareness and outreach, and more. She is committed to fighting for equality and inclusion, and helping good people reach their goals and improve the lives of each other – as she believes we all deserve to live in a safe and happy environment.

Nayda and her son, Xavier.

The Lake News

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