Congratulations to dedicated Dementia Australia supporters Tom Valenta OAM, Lynette Chester AM, and Anna Burke AO for their inclusions in this year’s Australia Day Honours.
Author and dedicated Dementia Advocate Tom Valenta OAM received the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division. He was honoured for his distinguished service to the community through charitable organisations, Dementia Australia, Cystic Fibrosis Victoria, Task Force Community Agency and Odyssey House Victoria.
In 2007 Tom published Remember Me Mrs V: Caring for my wife and others, a tribute to his wife, Marie. Marie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, aged 54. All the proceeds of the 5,000 books sold to date have been donated to Dementia Australia.
Tom, was recognised as an Honorary Member of Dementia Australia in 2013 and continues in his advocacy role as a public speaker and an active member of various committees and advisory groups.
Lynette Chester AM was included as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Lynette was honoured for her significant service to community health, particularly to people living with dementia and their families.
Lynette has had an invaluable association with Dementia Australia for many years, as a founding Board member and former President of Alzheimer’s Australia WA, in the 1980s and early 1990s. Throughout the 1990s, Lynnette held numerous national, governance roles within the former federation of Alzheimer’s Australia.
Lynette was also a founding member of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation in 1998, where she served for two years.
Anna Burke AO was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, being recognised for her distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to the community.
Anna’s involvement with Dementia Australia has seen her play an important role on our Victoria Advisory Council, comprising members in Victoria who can provide advice on local business development opportunities and initiatives with a broad ranging perspective on dementia-related issues.
Congratulations to Tom, Lynette and Anna on these much-deserved achievements!