ALEX ACKNOWLEDGED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE
“I’m feeling humbled. This award is very much appreciated and I thankyou all.”
So says Alex Fabiani, a final year Parade College student of 1976 and this year’s recipient of the Old Paradians’ Association’s Community Service Award.
Alex was presented with a glass memento of his award, together with a cheque for $1000 to assist with the running of his Community Service Kitchen at South Morang in the lead-up to Christmas.
The presentation to Alex was made by OPA President Lewis Derrico. Parade College Principal Dr Denis Moore, Assistant Principal – Staff Welfare and Development Mark Aiello and Business Manager Paul Harris – all Old Paradians – were also there for the ceremony, which was held in the College Boardroom.
Lewis said that Alex truly met the award criteria “as someone who promotes a vision of responsible community, and membership which is respectful and inclusive of all ages, cultures and abilities; someone who demonstrates a spirit of creativity and innovation; and someone who demonstrates initiative by responding in a proactive manner to issues relevant to the well-being of community”.
Alex’s schooling at Parade commenced in 1970, but ended after the first term of Year 9 in 1973. By his own admission a rebellious youth, Alex found that the College wasn’t for him at the time and joined the workforce at 15.
Having descended into a life of substance abuse, Alex was jolted out of his malaise after his younger brother Frank suffered severe brain damage due to a heroin overdose. As he said: “What looking after my brother taught me was that life wasn’t about me anymore, but what I could do for others”.
A reformed drug addict and author of two books chronicling his difficult life, Alex has, in recent years, overseen the running of the community kitchen for the disadvantaged out of South Morang’s Plenty Valley Church. In recognition of his charitable contributions, Alex was named the Access and Inclusion Citizen of the Year in 2011, and an Australia Day award recipient two years later.
Alex said that while circumstance contributed to his early departure from the College, “I always loved the history of Parade and it was a great place to learn”.
“And although I was only at the school for two and half years it makes me feel good that I was a Paradian,” he said.
The Community Service Award was established in the OPA’s Centenary Year of 2014. The inaugural award winner was Jonathon Elks (1983) who officiated as Police Sergeant at Kinglake in the midst of the Black Saturday bushfires.
The Award serves to acknowledge the many wonderful contributions of those Old Paradians who contribute significantly to the welfare of people in need. It serves to honor individuals (Old Paradians) who are community builders, creating healthy environments through their selfless actions.
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