On the Australian media landscape, Peter Hitchener is unrivalled when it comes to experience, credibility and integrity.
In 2018, Hitch, as he is affectionately known, celebrates 45 years at Nine and 20 years as presenter of the Nine News week night bulletin in Melbourne.
Hitchener loves nothing more than meeting the everyday Melburnians who make up the vibrant city to which he reads the news each week night at 6.00pm. A great deal of his time away from work is spent on community service activities.
He is passionate about ensuring that Victoria enjoys vibrant local communities, regularly attending community events and functions which Nine supports, mostly during his spare time on weekends. He is interested in what is happening at the grassroots and what makes communities tick. Generous with his time, he always stays longer than he planned to ensure he gets around to everyone.
Australian actor, Andrew, is known for his previous roles on Neighbours and Home and Away. He was raised on a farm in country Victoria and has always been very involved with the community by volunteering for 13 years as a Fire Fighter. He has a background in civil engineering, runs his own business and is a passionate advocate for mental health, and animal and human rights.
“I am passionate about helping and supporting others, speaking up for those that don’t have a voice and one day raising my own children, who will have an impact on this world.
“I admire my dad. He is an incredibly dedicated, passionate and loving man. He has a quirky sense of humour, always has time for people, has an incredible work ethic, never stops studying, and most importantly, loves what he does.
“I was on my own and navigating the country for work and now I am a lucky father to 3 beautiful creatures, with Skyla our newest being born in December! Our roles as fathers is critical for the growth of our children. They are constantly analysing our behaviour while absorbing and adapting themselves around our interactions. I have the greatest privilege and I have been given the greatest gifts. I can’t wait to continue watching them strive and grow.”
There’s not much Sarah hasn’t done, from being a snowboard instructor to flying in a helicopter everyday reporting traffic for Channel 7.
Having dedicated many years to her love of the media and entertainment industry, Sarah has had many varied roles in TV and radio, and as an emcee for Essendon FC, Cricket Australia and Spartan Race. She’s also interviewed big stars like Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving and Sarah Snook on the red carpet at film premieres.
Sarah has been a runner for more than 15 years and loves the outdoors, hiking, surfing and snowboarding. She is regularly involved with fun runs and many outdoor events around Australia.
“I feel privileged to be an ambassador for the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run – Fathers’ Day is about spending time with family and spoiling the dads in our lives that deserve to be recognised for all their hard work and dedication to their families.”
Ayman was raised in the wilds of the Northern Territory, which helped foster his interests in community and outdoor activities. He is passionate about grassroots community engagement, mental health and social justice.
He is currently the General Manager of the Islamic Council of Victoria, The peak Muslim body in Victoria, which offers social welfare and advocacy services to a diverse growing community in Victoria.
“Family is very important to me. As a new father, I want to set a good example for my own child & family around healthy habits and I am a strong believer that regular exercise is important for your overall wellbeing. I am very excited to be a YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run Ambassador.”
With a starting weight of 198 kg in 2017, the inspirational Mernda mum-of-two began running in January that year, she has since gone on to complete weekly parkruns and numerous 10 km events and is using the family event as motivation for training and to help her reach her long-term goal to become a marathon runner.
Her personal health journey, down-to-earth nature and persistence has attracted an Instagram following of over 25,000 and allowed her to share her story across Seven News, news.com.au, Essential Baby, Fox FM, Kinderling radio and more.
“My family are my biggest supporters. Some mornings my husband has to push me out the door. My daughter gives me high fives when I get home. It keeps me going.
“Father’s Day for us is always about family and spending time together. This day will provide all of that, with the bonus of getting active together.”
Walter Rapoport, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission
Walter Rapoport is a Past Chairman of the Council of Christians & Jews (Victoria) and has been the Editor of Gesher for its 2013 – 2016 editions. Mr Rapoport has had a long and abiding interest in interfaith and intercultural engagement and served as the inaugural Chairman of the Interfaith Relations Committee of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission.
Mr Rapoport also Chaired the Steering Committees of two Commonwealth Government Living in Harmony Grants, which oversaw the Building Bridges and the Embracing Youth programs. He is co-founder and joint-CEO of a finance company.
“I am a father to a daughter and two sons, and a grandfather to five grandchildren. I like to think I’m a mate of my kids, as well as being a father figure. Sharing my kids’ lives in all respects is, and always has been, part and parcel of my life.”
Dr Luke Martin
Dr Luke Martin is a Clinical Psychologist and a founding Director of Prevention United, a new mental health charity that focuses on promoting mental wellbeing and preventing mental health conditions. Luke is passionate about sharing the knowledge of psychology to help people to stay well and get the most out of life. Luke has extensive experience designing large-scale mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiatives while working for organisations such as beyondblue, the Australian Psychological Society and RMIT University.
Luke also helped develop Australia’s first mental health campaign for new fathers in 2016. Luke has worked clinically with children, young people and families and understands the importance of the early years for lifelong mental health and wellbeing. He was also part of the team behind Dolly Doctor.
“Being a Dad means everything to me. Seeing my girls growing up is the best experience of my life. Research clearly shows that Dads matter to their kids, and they can positively influence their child’s mental health and wellbeing.”
Natalie Moore is a mum who loves to run.
Although she has been a serious runner for more than 10 years, it wasn’t until she embarked on her first marathon in 2014 that she realised how strong her passion for running is.
Running has been pivotal in transforming Natalie and has led her on to new career path as a Health and Wellness Coach. She is passionate about wellness education and through her business Be Moore works with people to help them prioritise their personal health and wellbeing goals.
“Sharing my passion for running with my husband and daughter gives me so much joy and happiness. We love nothing more than getting out together for a run. Being able to celebrate the main man in our lives with a run will be really special and it has become a tradition that we really look forward to.”
Margarita Alamo de Parkin
Mother of two, social media influencer and marketing specialist, Margarita says she rediscovered herself after taking body balance classes at her local Y to help overcome postpartum disorder.
¨I want to influence other mothers to lead healthier lives, choose better products, to wear clothes that inspire them during and after pregnancy and most importantly lead discussions in sharing personal experiences to help lessen negative attitudes and thoughts around mental health issues as we all have similar stories to tell, men included… a discussion just needs to be started!”
“Father’s day is a very important day, culturally, for me as it is when all family members are in the one place, celebrating this wonderful day!”
Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Formally known as The Parents’ Jury, Parents’ Voice was formed in 2004 and now represents thousands of Australian parents.
Parents’ Voice will be bringing a team to the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run.