Three members of the Maltese community in Australia, Ms Denise Ann Cauchi from Victoria and Mr George Bartolo and Mr Charles N Mifsud from New South Wales were awarded the Order of Australia Medal announced on Australia Day 2018.
Ms Cauchi has also held positions with Oxfam Australia and the Human Rights Alliance of Australia and is a member of the Board of the Australian Council for International Development and the International Council of Peace Brigades International. She has been a human-rights activist for over 25 years, in Australia, Spain, Timor-Leste and India. She holds a Master of Development Studies (University of Melbourne). Before setting up Diaspora Action Australia in 2008, she worked a journalist. Denise is the daughter of prominent Maltese community member and past President of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria, Prof Maurice Cauchi and his wife Agnes.
George Bartolo born in Rabat Malta and emigrated to Australia in 1959, settling in the Wollongong area of New South Wales. He is a foundation member and current vice president of the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI). He was also president of the George Cross Falcons Club of Cringila for nearly thirty years and is the current treasurer of the Maltese Community Council of NSW, life member, and past president and secretary. Mr Bartolo was awarded the medal in recognition of his service to the Maltese and multicultural communities of NSW.
Mr Bartolo is also a founding member (1975) of the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI). He has served as senior vice-chairman of MCCI since 2004 and was made a life member in 2005. He is the longest continuous member of the Illawarra Dog Training (Obedience) Club. Mr Bartolo has been a member of the club since 1971 and has over the years served as club president and chief instructor. The life member has also been a national and state sporting judge since 1985 and even been a competitor in dog training events.
The OAM is the latest award for Mr Bartolo, who has also received a Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), a FECCA Medal (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia), a NSW Seniors Week Achievement Award (2007) and a United Nations International Day for the Elderly Award from Wollongong City Council in 2009.
Charles N. Mifsud was born in Sliema and arrived in Sydney at the age of 14 years. He served in the army RAEME from 1956 to 1961. He also served on the committee of the Melita Eagles FC and in 1988 he joined the Għaqda Kulturali Maltija ta’ NSW, of which he is its current president. Charles is also the president of the Maltese Sub-Branch of the RSL, and served as president of the Maltese Community Council of NSW from 1996 to 2008. He is a life member and the current PRO. He was awarded the OAM for service to the Maltese community.
[Sources: illawarramercury.com.au; The Voice of the Maltese; diasporaaction.org.au]