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SSC Newspaper : Strathfield Scene December
Strathfield Scene 7 “My mother taught me the benefits of healthy living, eating well and keeping fit and I would like to pass those lessons on,” – Prashanth Sellathurai, Citizen of the Year nominee. council news www.ourstrathfield.com.au Vote now for our Citizen of the Year These three stories will inspire you to vote for a community leader who can represent our municipality in 2011. LocaL constabLe honoured by bernadette chua Citizen of the Year nominee Prashanth Sellathurai well and truly put Strathfield on the world map when he won Australia’s first Gold Medal as a member of our men’s gymnastics squad at the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi. But while Sellathurai gained international personal games glory he is also helping budding local athletes to go for their own gold as an ambassador for the Premier’s Sporting Challenge, which educates local school students about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying active. This year the Challenge provided 14 local schools with more than $72,000 in grants for new sporting equipment. As part of the initiative, schools compete for a Premier’s Bronze, Silver, Gold or Diamond awards for implementing and taking part in physical activity programs. “ The Ambassadors are elite athletes who are seeking to promote a healthy lifestyle to school children,” Sellathurai said. “My mother taught me the benefits of healthy living, eating well and keeping fit and I would like to pass on those lessons in turn as a Premier’s Sporting Challenge ambassador.” Sellathurai, 24, who has lived in Strathfield all his life, may have had the whole nation cheering him on to victory in Delhi but he says his biggest fans have always been his family. Sellathurai says his two younger sisters – Shanthi and Bharshini – a nd cousins are his most vocal cheer squad but without a doubt his mother Maithily has proudly been his number one fan since she enrolled him in gymnastics classes as a child. “My mum put me in gymnastics because I was a very active kid. I was always climbing trees and she thought this would be a safer way for me to channel my energy,” he said. From starting out in a kindy gym, our golden boy is now in training for an international championship to be held in Japan this month. He is also competitive as a devoted rev-head and he shares a love for motor racing with his dad Krishna who is also a Formula One fan. However, he says that his coach doesn’t like it when he takes to the track in his racing go-kart. “I love go-karting but my coach doesn’t like it because he thinks I’ll injure myself,” he says. The Trinity Grammar graduate is now studying radiography at the University of Sydney. by Leanne elahmad They are the best of the best – people who have given selfless service to the community of Strathfield. This year, Strathfield Council is keener than ever to find our hidden heroes and quiet achievers – the men and women who have helped their fellow citizens, whether it be in acts of courage or simply by crossing the street to show they care. You can make your own nominations by visiting the council website: www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au . To start the ball rolling, the Scene went out to find candidates whose courage and commitment certainly seems to qualify them to be Citizen of the Year. A team of four highly qualified volunteer members of Strathfield SES gained a nomination after they answered the call to go to Victoria after flash flooding, hailstorms and heavy rainfall which caused significant damage in several areas of Melbourne. They were among SES Volunteers from across Australia who converged on Melbourne following 3200 requests for assistance to the Victorian SES. The Strathfield SES team completed 25 requests for assistance in a two-and-a -half day period, more than any other unit from NSW. Joanne Gianotto, Training Co-ordinator of Strathfield SES, says she was extremely proud of the team for assisting with the clean-up efforts in Victoria. “It was a very trying time for the public and our volunteer members gave up time at work to go,” she said. Strathfield SES dealt with callouts from the Victorian public including damaged roofs, the removal of large fallen tree branches and damaged buildings amongst other duties. While preparing to go to Victoria, other Strathfield SES volunteers dealt with call-outs that saw them assisting local residents in Strathfield into the early hours of the morning. “On behalf of Strathfield Council, I would like to thank the volunteer members of the SES for their efforts, and for giving their time to help our fellow Australians out in this time of emergency,” said Strathfield Mayor Tony Maroun. Strathfield SES is looking for new volunteer members to be trained in a variety of skills ranging from how to use chainsaws, assisting flood, storm damage recovery and first aid and leadership. SES volunteers come from all walks of life. To become a volunteer with Strathfield SES you must be at least 18 years of age. Before you can join as a volunteer you will need to meet with the controller for an interview, fill out a membership application form and go through a criminal history check. You will also need to take part in an induction course. Strathfield SES runs induction courses throughout the year and has weekly training meetings on Tuesday nights for induction and Wednesday nights for qualified members. If you are interested in joining Strathfield SES, please call 9763 2144 or visit http://strathfield.ses . nsw.gov.au for more information. Flemington Highway Patrol officer Senior Constable Scott Higgins has been nominated by the NSW Police as Strathfield Citizen of the Year for single handedly disarming and arresting a murder suspect in Auburn in July. Senior Constable Higgins was driving through Strathfield in a patrol car on Saturday July 17 when he received a description of a man suspected of the stabbing murder of a 54-year-old woman in nearby Auburn over his police radio just before noon. Senior Constable Higgins then drove to Auburn and within five minutes he spotted the suspect walking along Parramatta Road about 2km from the scene of the alleged murder. “ The description was a good one and he caught my eye immediately,” Senior Constable Higgins said. “I did a U-turn and as soon as I took a good look at him from the front, I knew it was the man I was looking for.” The alleged murderer offered no resistance and a search by Senior Constable Higgins revealed he was carrying a knife, which was allegedly used in the murder. The man has since been charged with the murder of Gulghutale Niazi and is in custody awaiting further court appearances. “A typical day for a Highway Patrol officer is speed checks, breath tests and detecting disqualified and suspended drivers . .. every shift is different but it’s not every day you arrest an alleged murderer,” Higgins said. Senior Constable Higgins, 35, has been a policeman for seven years and got his start in the Highway Patrol after five years in general duties policing at Penrith. “I love the Highway Patrol – it’s a great job and I’m happy to stay with it as long as I can,” he said. Senior Constable Higgins was nominated for the Police Officer of the Year award at the annual ceremony held at the Strathfield Golf Club and supported by the Strathfield Rotarians. Vote for your Strathfield Citizen of the year now! strathfield.nsw.gov.au strathfield.nsw.gov.au Gymnast Prashanth Sellathurai in his go-karting gear The Strathfield SES team Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 17th December 2010