The Governor-General’s Medallion recognises significant contributions to charities in the 2020 pandemic year.
Our Patron, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), the Governor-General of Australia and Mrs Hurley would normally host a reception at Government House to thank select charitable organisations and members of the community, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, that was not possible in 2020. They instead generously gifted a special medallion to MS Australia to award to a staff member, volunteer or supporter who has contributed to MS Australia’s work in significant way.
Associate Professor Desmond Graham, President, MS Australia is pleased to announce, “On behalf of MS Australia and the Board, a unanimous decision was made to award the Governor-General’s medallion posthumously to Mrs Donna Socratous. Donna was a tireless volunteer and advocate for the MS community. Donna led several peer support groups including an MS culturally and linguistically diverse peer support group in Melbourne’s western suburbs,” said Associate Professor Graham.
“Donna’s success as a peer support coordinator stemmed from her lived experience of MS and her ability to connect with and understand the needs of others. The value of peer support cannot be underestimated, reaching out and connecting with others who share the same diagnoses, reinforcing positive attitudes and behaviours, creating a safe space to allow people to share their personal stories.”
Associate Professor Graham also mentioned that the medallion will be presented to Donna’s family.
The Governor-General’s message
Linda and I, on behalf of all Australians, would like to thank you for your contribution to Multiple Sclerosis Australia over the course of 2020.
The year has brought many challenges. The way we live, work and stay connected has changed.
More positively, it has also highlighted the contributions that so many Australians make to their community. Linda and I have encountered this goodness in countless conversations, visits and, in a sign of the peculiarities of 2020, video conferences over the course of the year. Time and time again we have been struck the selflessness and generosity of Australians.
This is not, of course, to understate the scale of the challenge or, indeed, the pain being felt in parts of our community. It does, though, make us both enormously proud to be Australian and hopeful for the future.
Linda and I are proud to be associated with organisations like Multiple Sclerosis Australia. The contribution that Multiple Sclerosis Australia and you make in our community is considerable.
We would like to thank you for your work, passion and commitment.
Governor-General and Linda Hurley