Refugee Champion Award

Elaine and Geoff have been a tower of strength over many years for recent arrivals in the Dandenong area. Their cheerful, tactful and friendly manner have endeared them to all those around them – men, women and children alike. They have facilitated the settlement of many, many people during a time when government settlement assistance was often inadequate for basic needs.
Elaine and Geoff also gave a lot of practical assistance, including buying, organising and sending parcels of goods that were desperately needed. They helped asylum seekers maintain their spirits and dignity, showing them they had not been forgotten by the outside world. They provided enormous assistance to many individuals and families, many of whom were struggling to settle in because of medical and emotional difficulties they brought with them as a result of both their detention and their refugee experiences, not to mention cultural, financial and language barriers. The couple counselled and helped many get through these difficult times without taking anything in return. They are truly inspirational and have shown the world that Australia does care.

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