Locals recognised

Veronica Hassing. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Burnside’s Veronica Hassing and Sunshine North’s Thoa Tran have been recognised in the Victorian Senior of the Year awards.

Ms Hessing won the veteran community award, after being nominated by Melton council.

The 85-year-old has been a passionate contributor to her community through volunteering with Carers Victoria, the Smith Family, the Court Network, the RSL, Anzac Day appeal and helping to organise her local community fete.

Last year during the lockdown, Ms Hassing turned her garage into a pop-up poppy stall and raised $1000 for RSL welfare work.

Ms Hassing said her first reaction to hearing she had won the award was “what have I done?”

“Because I do things and I don’t look for praise, I do it because I want to and I can see the need, and I’ll always be the same.”

Ms Tran was recognised as one of the winners of the COTA senior achiever awards.

Ms Tran is an active member of Australian Vietnamese Arts Incorporation (AVA) and has performed traditional dances at numerous cultural festivals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Tran found new ways to stay connected and give back through sewing.

Ms Tran joined Rona Scrubs, a group of volunteers making scrubs for people on the pandemic front line, in May 2020 and produced more than 500 sets of uniforms for nurses and doctors.

During the pandemic, Ms Tran has also taught hand crafts to aged care residents in-person and remotely, and shared important wellbeing and COVID-19 vaccination information by producing two Vietnamese language videos.

Recently Ms Tran has also volunteered at the IPC Health vaccination clinic in Melton to support people receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.