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06 November 2023

The annual Seniors Morning Tea event, hosted by Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward MP with special guest, Charles Pakana was a wonderful morning of connection and community.

Holding events during Seniors’ week is an opportunity to show appreciation for members of the community who have devoted their lives to raising family, working and supporting their community.

Guests were treated to a wonderful performance by Eltham High School flautists, Lanaya Dundles and Celia Vivado.

Charles Pakana was the 2023 Banyule Citizen of the Year and is an Aboriginal man of Tasmanian descent. As the second of three successive generations of Aboriginal journalists, Charles founded Victorian Aboriginal News, which focusses on stories of strength, self-determination, treaty, voice and leadership across Victoria.

Charles Pakana's volunteer work is extensive. He has served on the Banyule Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, as Chair of Barrbunin Beek Aboriginal Gathering Place for many years and moderated Treaty panels for Banyule and many other councils. Through his work, Charles has worked with many organisations, advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories of success, and volunteered at Melbourne’s only Indigenous radio station, 3KND, presenting a current affairs program and a music program ‘Sixties Sojourn’ each week.

During the morning tea, Charles Pakana shared with us his experience in volunteering and emphasised the importance of giving back to the community.

Quotes attributable to Vicki Ward MP, Member for Eltham

“The wisdom, knowledge and experiences of older members of our community is invaluable. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate their ongoing contributions that we benefit from.”

“It was an honour to have Charles Pakana speak with us and share his wealth of experience with guests.”