By Bianca Martins
OAM recipient: Bonnyrigg Heights resident Carmen Lazar. Picture: Wesley Lonergan
CARMEN Lazar is often the first point of contact to offer help and support to new migrants in the area.
That work has now been rewarded.
The centre manager and settlement officer at the Assyrian Resource Centre in Fairfield was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day for her contribution to the Assyrian community.
“I am greatly honoured and surprised as I feel that as a citizen I have a duty of care to fulfil my commitments to my community,” she said.
The Bonnyrigg Heights resident is the deputy chairwoman of the Community Participation Network at Fairfield Hospital, an executive board member at Cabramatta Community Centre, as well as an active member at the Fairfield Migrant Interagency Network, the Immigrant Women’s Network and the National Council of Churches in Australia.
She was the vice-president and secretary of the Assyrian Australian Association from 1996 to 2008, the principal of the Assyrian Diqlat Language School since 2001 and is the vice-president of the Assyrian Australian National Federation.
When asked why she dedicated so much of her time to helping the Assyrian community, Mrs Lazar said it was due to how she was raised.
“I was raised and taught by my parents to always love, respect and help in every way I can, and not to forget who I am and where I come from,” she said.
“I thank my parents for their upbringing and love, and making me the person I am today by helping my beloved Assyrian community.”