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Outstanding community leaders announced as 2007 John Curtin Medallists

News story

Aboriginal leader and activist Dennis Eggington and lifelong community fundraiser David Goldstone have been awarded the prestigious 2007 John Curtin Medal, the University’s highest non-academic award, in recognition of their enormous contributions to the Western Australian community.

The John Curtin Medal honours Australia’s wartime Prime Minister John Curtin by celebrating members of the community who exhibit his qualities of vision, leadership and community service.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket said the two recipients were exceptional members of the community and highly deserving of the Award.

“Dennis Eggington is well known for his public stance on issues affecting Indigenous Australians, and his commitment to improving their quality of life and opportunities.

“He is respected not only by Nyungar people, but also by the non-Indigenous community throughout the State.

“Dennis is Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Legal Service and has also given countless hours of community service.  He has been at the heart of discussions about the nature of Nyungar sovereignty and nation, personally consulting communities throughout Nyungar country.

“I commend Dennis on his tireless work in many capacities and forums, and his dedication to both the Nyungar and non-Indigenous communities.”

The University also honoured David Goldstone for his outstanding work in raising over $10 million for charity and raising the awareness of these organisations in Western Australia.

“After overcoming polio in his early twenties, David has dedicated nearly 40 years to raising millions of dollars to help others less fortunate than himself,” Professor Hacket said.

“He raised $84,000 towards Rotary’s world-wide Polio Eradication Program through the 1999 ‘Pennies for Polio Campaign’ in a country which is thankfully free of the disease.  This is a testament to his unwavering belief, tenacity and focus.

“David has also been the driving force behind other fundraising campaigns such as the Subiaco Craft and Community Fair, the Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank Appeal and the St John of God Foundation Horizon Program.

“David’s fundraising and community work has and will continue to change the lives of disadvantaged people in WA.”

John Curtin Day celebrations and the Medal Award Ceremony commemorate the anniversary of his accession to the country’s highest political office on 7 October 1941.  This year approximately 400 Curtin Volunteers will visit 30 regional towns around Western Australia, three Perth metropolitan locations and two international locations; one at Curtin’s Sarawak Campus and the other at Simpson College in the USA, to participate in projects for John Curtin Weekend.  Inspired by John Curtin’s qualities of vision, leadership and community service, these projects are an opportunity for people to work on worthwhile community projects and engage with regional communities.

The volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and include Curtin students, staff, friends and family.  In 2007 activities span over five weekends.

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