In November 2016, Montessori Academy celebrated their third Annual Charity Gala Ball to raise much needed funds for deserving youth-based charities, Dunlea Centre, and Montfort Boys’ Town.

With more than 400 guests in attendance, the Excellence Awards was a fantastic night of entertainment, fund and awareness raising hosted in the Grand Ballroom of Bankstown Sports Club.

Guest speaker and Executive Director of Dunlea Centre, Paul Mastronardi, spoke passionately about the importance of supporting young people and their families during times of hardship.

He provided guests with an in-depth understanding of how Dunlea Centre provides disillusioned youth with a support system that allows them to improve their educational outcomes and establish habits for positive lasting change.

Guest speaker for Montfort Boys’ Town, Monsignor Brian Rayner, provided insight into how teaching young people job skills can improve the health and economic outcomes of a nation.

As a result of the programs run by Montfort Boys’ Town, Fiji’s youth unemployment rate has decreased, and substantial efforts have gone into delivering innovative agricultural solutions to improve overall economic indicators.

Along with a strong focus on charity, the Excellence Awards also celebrated the achievements of Montessori Academy staff.

Montessori Academy Chief Operations Officer, Rami Nassif, and Senior Area Manager, Kellie Chahroura, presented the awards to staff who had been nominated by their peers for demonstrating excellence in their area of expertise.

Throughout the evening, guests were treated to the comedic styling of the evening’s MC, Channel Nine Presenter Tim Gilbert, as well as show stopping entertainment by drumming group Zaffet Leben, acrobatic entertainers Dauntless Movement Crew, and pianist Paul Chang.

Key sponsors of the Excellence Awards included: PAYCE, Bartier Perry, Ark Air and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Director of Montessori Academy, Colette Assaf, said: “It is wonderful to see so many of our staff and business partners gather together to celebrate a fantastic year, and so generously donate to two very deserving causes.

“At Montessori Academy, we believe that every child is capable of achieving their full potential when given the right opportunities, environment, and support to succeed.

“This is what the Dunlea Centre and Boys’ Town do for their own communities. We are so proud to support the ongoing work of these charities as they change the lives of youth in Australia and Fiji,” said Colette.

Montessori Academy’s Excellence Awards Charity Ball raised more than $40,000 for Dunlea Centre and Montfort Boys’ Town in Fiji. These funds will go a long way to create positive futures for youth in need.

Montessori Academy Award Winners:

Employee of the Year: Susan Cvetkovski – Macquarie Park
Excellence in Educational Leadership: Katia Kalouche – Strathfield and Bernadette Azzi – Greenacre
Excellence in Leadership and Service Management: Kathleen Coquico – Penrith and Vanessa Callum – Castle Hill
Excellence Award: Anna Valente, Lamisse Kazzi, Manjula Ganeshalingam
Bright Star Award: Charlene Tannous – Entrada, Breanna Pietrantonio – Barangaroo, Esperance Tahhan – Croydon.
Outstanding Family Care Officer: Louise Rocha – Head Office
Outstanding Montessori Teacher: Donna Brown – Victoria Park, Shymala Thiele -Buwood
Outstanding Second in Charge: Meghan Johnson – Macquarie Park, Narda Bennet – Penrith, Rong Zeng – North Parramatta
Outstanding Educator: Abir El Rai – Auburn, Amanda Salloum – Smithfield, Ami Tank – Leichhardt, Claire Gioukaris – Alexandria, Deborah Safi – Condell Park, Erny Phan – Strathfield, Ezra Taylor – Lane Cove, Jessica Banh – Croydon, Maddison Read – Gymea, Mary Nakhoul – Bankstown, Nikolina Vulcik – Barangaroo, Patricia Mardiarga – North Parramatta, Rita Abed El Ahad – Greenacre, Rozina Hirani – Castle Hill, Yasemin Mehmedov – Penrith

Full List of Excellence Awards Sponsors:

• Bartier Perry
• ARK Air
• Price Waterhouse Coopers
• Raguz Building Services
• Educational Experience
• Fam International
• Zaffet Lebnen
• MMDCC Construction Consultants
• Sparke Helmore Lawyers
• DIB Insurance
• DCWC Project Managers
• Liskowski Lawyers
• Upstream
• Westpac
• Australian Consulting Engineers
• Planum Partners
• Snap Printing Burwood
• Art & Soul
• JT Electrical
• Billich
• Ferrarri Maserati