Wal Turner

Living Treasures

Living Treasures is a local project where people who have made a lasting impact on the quality and nature of life for all of the City of Greater Dandenong community were named and honoured.

The project was initiated as part of the city's celebrations for Australian Federation in 2001. In the lead up to federation, the City of Greater Dandenong honoured one of its residents as a Living Treasure each month from September 1998 until September 2000. In 2005, the Living Treasures project called for nominations again, and a further nine people were honoured. Another call was made in 2019 as part of the 2020 Australia Day Awards nominations and four more Living Treasures were celebrated.

Some of the Living Treasures were quiet achievers, whom without, great things would never come to pass. Others devoted themselves to the community and influenced the history, local economy, social, sporting and cultural life in Greater Dandenong. Sadly a number of Living Treasures have passed on, but many are still making a positive difference to our local community.

Albert was born in Melbourne on 8 June 1919, the eldest of four children of Hyman, a commercial traveller, and Stella Blashki.
Ella was born in Richmond in 1908, one of a family of eight children.
N.R. Wickiramasingham (Wicki) has been heavily involved in community life since arriving in Australia 29 years ago.
An Nguyen was born in Nha Trang in Vietnam.
Ann was born on 15 May 1939 in St. Kilda, the eldest and only girl of six children born to William and Nance Halpin.
Bill Toon was born in England in 1920 and migrated to Australia with his family at a young age. 
Bruce Patchell was born in Tatura and moved to Dandenong in 1936.
Eric was born in Carlton on 27 December 1930, and was educated in Oakleigh, Clayton and Dandenong West Primary Schools. 
Francisca Ho and her family chose to move to Noble Park in 1977.
Graham was born on 18 June 1948 in Carlton, the fourth of ten children born to Henry Raymond and Lilly Rosina Thomas.
Gwen Jarvis was the second daughter of Charles and Doris McPhee and was born at home in Close Avenue, Dandenong in 1922. <
Heather Duggan is renowned for her work with community groups from many cultural backgrounds. 
Jim Hardy was born in 1913 at Warrnambool, one of eight children in a family with a strong Irish heritage.
Marg Stork was born in Toorak in 1923 and was brought up on a dairy farm at Lyndhurst.
Maria Erdeg’s experience of settling here is one shared by migrants from many countries. 
Maurie was born in Somerville on 18 January 1917, one of four children of builder Bert George and Ethel May.
Max Oldmeadow was born in Dandenong in 1924 and lived there virtually all his life. 
Merle Mitchell has lived within this city for most of her life. Born in Dandenong in 1934, Merle trained as a kindergarten
Pat was born on 22 December 1928 in Launceston, Tasmania and christened Beverley Patricia.
Phyl was born in Manangatang in 1926, one of five children, all of whom have been contributors in their own fields within
Stuart Marriner was a man of principle who believed that individuals must contribute to community good.
Tom Houlahan was born at Axe Creek, near Bendigo in 1916 and raised on his parents’ small mixed farm. 
Val was born in Boort, Victoria on the 20th of December 1931.
Wal Turner was born in Oakleigh in 1919, the first of eight children of Alf and Daisy Turner.
Bill Warner has had years of civic and voluntary service.
John Beus arrived in Springvale North in 1950 from war torn Holland and found a country town where freedom and open paddocks ab
Arriving in Australia with his family in 1953 as a 17-year-old Sicilian, Lorenzo Modica proved the ideals of hard work, positiv
Marjorie Smith grew up in Benalla, Victoria, studied in Bendigo, and worked as a primary teacher in Tallarook where she met her
The youngest of eight children, and with six of her own, Patricia Blashki understood the meaning of community. 
From his work in charity Peter Jabbour believes in a simple metaphor.
Dr Thong’s dedication to community in the areas of education, language and cultural services spans two countries and three deca
Born in Rutherglen, Victoria in 1929 to a miner father and a devout Methodist mother, Wes Eggleston remembered his home as quit
Robert ‘Bob’ Malcolm has been a community advocate in Greater Dandenong since the 1960s.
Ian McDonald contributed significantly through his roles as a Councillor and Mayor of the City of Dandenong.
Margo Hartley co-founded Hilton Manufacturing 40 years ago.
Josephine De Lange actively supports the Greater Dandenong community through various volunteer roles.
Mary was born in St. Julians, a village in Malta, on 9 April 1938 to Katrina and Francis Vella.
Roz Blades has been a long serving Councillor and several time Mayor for the City of Greater Dandenong (and the former City of Springvale).
Teresa Rechichi has an exceptional ability to bring people together.
Philip Faulks is an internationally renowned artist and the former chair of the City of Greater Dandenong’s Public Art Advisory Committee.
Youhorn Chea created history as the first Cambodian-born Councillor to be elected in Australia and in 2001 he was sworn in as Greater Dandenong’s first Asian mayor.