BY BEV JORDAN
SHYAMA PERERA certainly doesn’t like the limelight but she was well and truly centre stage at a special thank you morning tea to honour 20 years of service to Hills Community Aid during the week.
Emergency Services Minister and Baulkham Hills MP David Elliott and Hills Mayor Michelle Byrne joined volunteers, staff and Shyama’s family to acknowledge her work in the community.
Mr Elliott presented her with a framed recognition award and also a copy of a Member’s statement he gave in State Parliament acknowledging her service.
Shyama joined Hills Community Aid in May 2001, to cover a staff member’s maternity leave. She stayed on.
HCA executive officer Mici Beer said Shyama introduced NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme) to HCA and developed an outreach service of NILS and Emergency Relief funding in numerous locations to ensure those in need can access assistance.
During 2014-2020, Shyama conducted over 1,100 client visits and has been responsible for the assessment and processing of
• $100,000 in food vouchers
• $130,000 in EAPA support
• $20,000 in phone vouchers
• From Sept 2018 to present 551 NILS loans worth $646,730.
“Her deep knowledge and expertise is at the core of our Financial Inclusion program,” said Mici Beer.
“Today with the support of three staff and eight volunteers Shyama deliver a first-class service to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community.
“Her blend of compassion with professionalism to ensure her clients receive the highest quality support and guidance makes her a highly respected worker in her field.
“Shyama you are epitome of service to the community, you continually go above and beyond the requirements of your job to serve our clients and continually strive to exceed expectations.”