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.

Agnes Kean is a 2023 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Albert was born in Melbourne on 8 June 1919, the eldest of four children of Hyman, a commercial traveller, and Stella Blashki.
An Nguyen was born in Nha Trang in Vietnam.
Be Ha is a 2022 Living Treasure Award Winner.
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.
Colin Huth is a 2023 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Dr Thong’s dedication to community in the areas of education, language and cultural services spans two countries and three deca
Ella was born in Richmond in 1908, one of a family of eight children.
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. 
Helen Heath is a 2024 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Ian McDonald contributed significantly through his roles as a Councillor and Mayor of the City of Dandenong.
Bill Warner has had years of civic and voluntary service.
Jack Ma is a 2023 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Jenny Mackay is a 2023 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Jim Hardy was born in 1913 at Warrnambool, one of eight children in a family with a strong Irish heritage.
Joe Rechichi is a 2022 Living Treasure Award Winner.
John Beus arrived in Springvale North in 1950 from war torn Holland and found a country town where freedom and open paddocks ab
John Mooney is a 2024 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Josephine De Lange is a 2020 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Arriving in Australia with his family in 1953 as a 17-year-old Sicilian, Lorenzo Modica proved the ideals of hard work, positiv
Marg Stork was born in Toorak in 1923 and was brought up on a dairy farm at Lyndhurst.
Margo Hartley co-founded Hilton Manufacturing 40 years ago.
Maria Erdeg’s experience of settling here is one shared by migrants from many countries. 
Marjorie Smith grew up in Benalla, Victoria, studied in Bendigo, and worked as a primary teacher in Tallarook where she met her
Mary was born in St. Julians, a village in Malta, on 9 April 1938 to Katrina and Francis Vella.
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
N.R. Wickiramasingham (Wicki) has been heavily involved in community life since arriving in Australia 29 years ago.
Natalie Irvine is a 2022 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Pat was born on 22 December 1928 in Launceston, Tasmania and christened Beverley Patricia.
Patricia Ockwell is a 2022 Living Treasure Award Winner.
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.
Philip Faulks is an internationally renowned artist and the former chair of the City of Greater Dandenong’s Public Art Advisory Committee.
Phyl was born in Manangatang in 1926, one of five children, all of whom have been contributors in their own fields within
Robert ‘Bob’ Malcolm is a 2020 Living Treasure Award Winner.
Roz Blades has been a long serving Councillor and several time Mayor for the City of Greater Dandenong (and the former City of Springvale).
Ann was born on 15 May 1939 in St. Kilda, the eldest and only girl of six children born to William and Nance Halpin.
Stuart Marriner was a man of principle who believed that individuals must contribute to community good.
Teresa Rechichi has an exceptional ability to bring people together.
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.
Born in Rutherglen, Victoria in 1929 to a miner father and a devout Methodist mother, Wes Eggleston remembered his home as quit
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.