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									                                Williamstown Advertiser                                          Brief: TRUSTEES
                                Wednesday 15/4/2009                                              Page 1 of 2
                                Page: 4
                                Section: General News
                                Region: Melbourne Circulation: 13,468
                                Type: Suburban
                                Size: 382.61 sq.cms.
                                Published: --W----




Kindly
spirit to
live on
By Dinah Amdt

JOHN Byrne spent most of his life helping disad-     as they were only ever awarded a six-month tem-
vantaged youth in the western suburbs.               porary visa.
  When the long-time Maribyrnong teacher died          "The situation they were in was so unjust," Ms
in 2005, his family and friends were determined to   White said. "There was a real neighbourhood
continue that tradition in his name.                 community push for them to stay." Nominating
  His sister Annette Byme-Phillips, who runs the     teacher and year 11 co-ordinator, Judy Cameron
John Byrne Memorial Trust, said her brother added that despite all that, Arbenita was a role
started teaching at Maribyrnong Secondary Col-       model to others. "She was a person the students
lege in the 1970s and, soon after, focused on sup-   would identify with and look up to."
porting young refugees, newly arrived migrants         Arbenita said she had no idea what to expect
and their families.                                  when she enrolled. "I didn't know then that I was
  She said the idea to establish a trust in John's   not going to find teachers here, but a family."
name came about after disbelief at his passing.        In 2007, on Arbenita's birthday, the Qorris fam-
  "We were asking ourselves, how can we ily received permanent residency. Arbenita is now
remember his name? We can't just let John Bryne studying health science at LaTrobe University but
disappear?"                                     says she will never forget receiving the John
  Mr Bryne's former colleagues can't speak Byrne scholarship. "I could call it a godsend as
highly enough of him. As the school's student we were moving houses, I was finishing year 11
welfare co-ordinator, Leah White recalled that and preparing for year 12 ... and bit by little bit it
upon starting work at Maribyrnong in the mid-90s: would just be there to help my family."
"He was just someone who you warmed to
straight away. He was an incredibly well-liked        THE JOHN BYRNE TRUST
individual."
  Since the trust was set up, two $1000 scholar-      The John Bye Memorial Trust was set up with
ships have been awarded to students at the Mari-      the State Trustees Australia Foundation. Income
byrnong college, two scholarships of the same         earned in perpetuity will provide grants to young,
amount to Victoria University students, and a         disadvantaged refugees and asylum seekers,
$500 donation was made to the Western English         particularly those pursuing study opportunities in
Language School.                                      Australia. The trust started with $10,000 and
  Ms White said the first recipient, then year 11     has grown to more than $24,000, thanks to
student Arbenita Qorri was "the stand-out choice      fund-raising and donations. For more details, or
and, really, there was no need to have other nomi-    to make a tax-deductible donation, contact
nations". The 18-year-old Braybrook resident          Annette Byrne-Phillips at annpet@iprimus
arrived in Australia in 1999 as a Kosovo refugee      .com.au or 9740 8438, or visit www.state
and enrolled at the college in 2003. Her family's     trustees.com.au
future remained uncertain for the next four years




                                Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                                Ref: 50041986
                                 Williamstown Advertiser                                          Brief: TRUSTEES
                                 Wednesday 15/4/2009                                              Page 2 of 2
                                 Page: 4
                                 Section: General News
                                 Region: Melbourne Circulation: 13,468
                                 Type: Suburban
                                 Size: 382.61 sq.cms.
                                 Published: --W----




Dedicated student: Arbenita Qom, who has won a scholarship, considers staff at Maribymong Secondary
College part of her extended family.                                                  Picture: Michael Copp




                                 Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensed copy                                 Ref: 50041986

								
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