Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mt Pritchard's Nola awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia [-Congratulations and Thank you, Nola!]

Nola May Randall-Mohk, (correct), of Mt Pritchard, has been awarded the OAM, for her services to the Cambodian and Khmer communities. With Nola, are her two Grandchildren, Pik Meas, 14, and on right is Sotheary Thach, 8.
26 Jan 11
By Lauren McMah
FairfieldAdvance (Australia)

IT’S not the kind of work you get into for the praise.

But after over 25 years of assisting multicultural and refugee communities, Mt Pritchard’s Nola Randall-Mohk has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

“I’m pretty excited,” Ms Randall-Mohk said.

“I don’t even know who nominated me. It’s a relief to know someone noticed that the system works.”

Inspired by the plight of refugees from Cambodia’s Pol Pot regime, Ms Randall-Mohk has given particular assistance to Khmer communities, and has been public officer and director of human resources for the Cambodian-Australian Welfare Council of NSW since 2000.

She said she was saddened by many people’s attitudes towards her Cambodian students during her time as a TAFE teacher in the 1980s.

“I was appalled at the racism I saw at the time,” Ms Randall-Mohk said.

“I do believe in a multicultural Australia and in equal chances and I believe a lot of people weren’t getting that. I wanted to right those wrongs, you could say.”

Since then, Ms Randall-Mohk has had roles with a range of organisations including the Khmer Community of NSW, the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women and the Australian Cambodian Association.

Currently the outreach co-ordinator at Liverpool TAFE, Ms Randall-Mohk admits to working seven-day weeks but recently found time for her yearly pilgrimage to Cambodia.

“I was pretty astounded by how things have changed. There’s a lot of development but also a lot of poverty,” she said.

“You set out to help people but you learn a lot from them. I’ve become more flexible by learning new ways of doing things. It’s made my life interesting.”


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