Two Maltese men have made their way into the prestigious Australia Day Honours list for their service to the Maltese community of New South Wales.
Mark Caruana and Patrick Bartolo are the only Maltese people to have been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on Australia Day last January.
The two Maltese men formed part of a “dedicated, committed and selfless” 1,099 recipients that received an award at the order of Australia Honours, both for their contributions to the Maltese community in New South Wales.
Mark Caruana migrated to Australia back in the 1970s and began his career as a case worker helping people from Malta, Vietnam and the Middle East settle into the country.
“My dad is an extraordinary man and has been heavily involved in refugee resettlement and has made a massive contribution to the Austrian list. He never sought the limelight and did what he thought was kind and to satisfy a need,” said Mark’s daughter, Marise Caruana.
A migrant himself, Caruana quickly became a prominent figure in his Sydney suburb of Marayong as well as the rest of the city, including the Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre, Maltese Community Council of NSW and Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Centre.
For many years, Mark was involved on a committee level with the Maltese Welfare NSW, the Maltese Cultural Association of NSW and the Salesian Past Pupils & Friends of Don Bosco NSW as a co-founder and member. He currently is the President of the Don Bosco Association, which meets regularly for fellowship and raising funds for Salesian missions.
He has also written articles on the oral history of migrants in Australia and has recorded over 120 oral history interviews on cassette and video, in both English and Maltese, primarily with early settlers from the Maltese Islands who settled in Australia.
Patrick Bartolo is also a prominent member in the Maltese community, holding many titles including acting conduct of the MCA Choir and Vice President of the Malta Community Council of NSW.
In addition to being a token for their hard work in the Maltese community, the OAM also represents the good work of Australian citizens and is considered to be a prestigious honour for anyone to receive.