The late George Khouzame awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the Lebanese communityBookmark this
George Khouzame epitomised what it is to be a man of the people and his legacy continues throughout the Canterbury-Bankstown region.
The Lebanese-born businessman came to Australia in 1977 and established the Lebanese Welfare Centre to help many displaced migrants arriving in Australia.
The Roselands resident was best known for his welfare work for the Canterbury-Bankstown com-munity including offering free services for newcomers seeking housing, employment, education, interpreting and immigration advice through the organisation.
Priscilla, Najee, Chady and Julie Khouzame (front) at their Roselands home. Picture: Tim Clapin
Mr Khouzame died of lung cancer in May last year with almost 7000 people attending his funeral from a variety of backgrounds and religions.
Yesterday he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the Lebanese community of NSW.
Wife Julie Khouzame said her husband loved helping people.
“He helped people without any charge and that was beautiful,” she said.
“He has given the community all of himself unconditionally and completely.
George Khouzame pictured with wife Julie Khouzame
“George Khouzame is more than a name is it a legacy which our children and their children will carry on.”
Mr Khouzame and his wife also established a catering company showcasing modern Middle Eastern cuisine and catered up to 400 events each year.
Five years ago he opened the George Khouzame Foundation granting wishes to people with disability.
Son Najee Khouzame said his father was unlike any other man he has ever met.
“He never chose a certain community to help, whoever knocked on the door he was there to help them,” he said.
“He set up the foundation for his goddaughter who was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
“She used to always ask him to do things.
“So what he did was establish the George Khouzame Foundation to grant wishes to children.
“Before he passed away, on Mother’s Day he went down to the hospital in his wheelchair during chemo treatment and visited patients and gave out 100 gifts.”
Najee and his siblings Priscilla, Chady and George Junior are all continuing their father’s work.
“To be recognised by the Australian community would mean to the world to him,” Priscilla said.
“He was proud to be Australian, even though he had Lebanese background, he saw this as our home.
“It’s nice that he gets this recognition and we believe that multiculturalism is what makes Australia.”