Photo of Kookaburra courtesy of Jackie Delaney

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A night of fun, flavour and festivities at the Zest Awards Ceremony!

Mar 3, 2016

by Jacquie Millynn

On Wednesday 24th February I was lucky enough to attend the 2016 ZEST Awards Ceremony.

The ZEST Awards showcase the great work of the Community Sector across Greater Western Sydney. Held at ANZ Stadium, the ZEST Awards Ceremony was an exciting opportunity to hear about the extraordinary work happening across Western Sydney as well as to see fantastic entertainment.

Now in its sixth year, the ZEST Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the inspiring and innovative people and projects of Greater Western Sydney. Premier Mike Baird is patron of this important event. The Academy Awards for the Community Sector, Zest comprises of sixteen categories recognising community leaders, partnerships and projects making a difference. In the months preceding the Awards Ceremony, members of the community are invited to nominate and these are then submitted to the judging panel who determine the winners for each category. The ZEST Awards culminate in the Awards Ceremony which recognises winners and nominees. All those who are nominated receive two free tickets to the Awards Ceremony.

At the 2016 Awards Ceremony, a range of extraordinary people and projects were celebrated. This included Taniella Afu, winner of the ‘Outstanding Youth Leader’ Award, who works with at risk youth. It was also great to hear about the ‘Borrowers Beware Project’, winner of ‘Exceptional Community Partnership Project Across A Region’ Award, which educates people about the risks of entering into financial products secured against their homes.It was wonderful to see two projects from the Blue Mountains nominated, Paint the Blue REaD (Reading Week 2015) and the Blue Mountains Domestic Squalor and Hoarding Working Group, both for the ‘Exceptional Community Partnership Project in a Local Government Area’ Award.

Nearly 600 people turned out to celebrate the community sector at the 2016 Zest Awards Ceremony. In addition to recognising fantastic projects, the Awards Ceremony also provides an opportunity to see incredible entertainment. Guests were treated to an upbeat show from Bollywood group, Natraj Dance, and an energetic lion dance from the Australian Chinese Youth Sports Federation. I am very much looking forward to next year’s Awards Ceremony! 

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