The ceremony was held in the chambers of Melbourne Town Hall, attended by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Father’s Day Council Chair Don Parsons, YMCA Victoria Chair Anthea Hancocks, YMCA Victoria CEO and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Father’s Day Council Peter Burns, as well as Abubeker’s family and friends.
Abubeker migrated to Australia in 1996 from the African country of Eritrea, moving to Wonthaggi a decade later to raise his family. He and his wife Suad have seven children, aged between two and thirteen years old.
Abubeker first came to the attention of the Father’s Day Council through their centre’s local YMCA Community Father of the Year.
He is a loving dad who has put his family first, ensuring they have the best educational opportunities and access to swimming and water safety lessons.
In her nomination, 12 year old daughter Nusayba wrote, “My father is someone I can look up to and inspires me to do good things. He stands up for me and supports me.”
In his acceptance speech, Abubeker thanked YMCA staff at Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre, as well as his family and friends.
“It is not just an honour for me, but for my whole family. I am so humbled… I never thought I’d receive this,” he said. “I would like to thank my daughter Nusayba for nominating me, and to the Bass Coast YMCA for their wonderful service to the community.”
Presenting the award was Lord Mayor Robert Doyle who recognised how important dads and father figures are in the Victorian community.
“The essence of being a good dad is time,” said the Lord Mayor. “Just sharing time together is so important. We’ve had winners of all sorts over the years, and the link between them has been they’re just good dads.”
In 1910, the YMCA founded Father’s Day and we have continued to support and celebrate the important role they play in the community.