West honours senior Australians
Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, has announced that Mr John Christmass is the Western Australian Senior Australian of the Year 2005.
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4 December 2004
West honours senior AustraliansMr John Christmass was today named the Western Australian Senior Australian of the Year 2005.
The Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, said Mr Christmass has been nominated for his contribution to music and the Western Australian community.
"I congratulate Mr Christmass as an example of the older Australians whose lifelong achievements and contributions to their community, have helped to define us as a nation," Ms Bishop said. "With his lifelong passion for choral work, Mr Christmass is an inspiration to thousands of Western Australians.
Over a 60 year career, Mr Christmass has organised, directed and conducted concerts, developed choral work in schools, and formed and directed children and adult choirs. Following his retirement in 1985, a request from former students led Mr Christmass to create the choir New I Voci Singers - now one of Western Australia’s finest choral groups.
He also continues to mentor young people on a range of music management skills including administration, production, programming and publicity. Mr Christmass says the value of the arts in Australian society drives his voluntary work.
"This is a wonderful honour and a very humbling experience," Mr Christmass said. "I am surprised to find that there are those in the community who consider me worthy of nomination for this award and thank them for their thoughtfulness.
"I can only say that there must be many deserving seniors who simply have not been nominated and I accept this award on behalf of all who deserve it. I would like to thank all those who have worked with me over the years in choirs and organisations to make my contribution to the community possible. Without them these things would not have been achieved."
As Western Australian Senior Australian, Mr Christmass becomes a national finalist and is in contention for the Senior Australian of the Year Award 2005, to be announced on 25 January as part of Australia Day celebrations.
The Australian Government is the Partner for the Senior Australian of the Year Awards. More information on the Awards, including photographs and biographies of Mr Christmass and all the Senior Australian of the Year Awards recipients and finalists, is available at www.australianoftheyear.gov.au.
Media contacts: Rachael Thompson (Ms Bishop) 0417 265 289
Cathy Ewart (National Australia Day Council contact) 02 9552 2744 or 0412 005 584