The United Nations Association of Australia proudly presents the UNAA Lifework Awards 2016.
The purpose of the UNAA Lifework Awards is to recognise ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Longevity is a crucial key in determining the recipients of this award. It is a tangible acknowledgement of the long history of dedication men and women have demonstrated:
For working in positive ways for peace, justice, harmony and community spirit at grass roots level, andFor contributing towards the betterment of mankind through industry, community service and enterprise.
LESLIE SCHIRATO UNAA LIFEWORK AWARD - INDIVIDUAL
The UNAA Lifework Awards acknowledges the major role Leslie Schirato played in creating the sophisticated, discerning coffee culture in Australia and for his outstanding contribution to multiculturalism by enriching the Italian culinary heritage that we now enjoy.
The UNAA Lifework Awards acknowledges a career spanning almost 45 years starting with Leslie's first job as a 16-year-old at Cantarella Brothers in 1972 (founded 1947) then, following in his father's footsteps in 1992 (from Rolando Snr, former Sales Manager), he took over the helm of the company. True to family tradition Leslie's son, Rolando, will now follow in his footsteps as the next CEO of Vittoria Food and Beverage to ensure that the proud third-generation family business is kept alive and that its heritage continues through to the next generation.
Leslie has complemented his business success by giving back to the community through philanthropic contributions to health, youth, education and social welfare causes.
On Friday evening - the 12th August 2016 the United Nations Association awarded Surf Living Saving Australia the UNAA Lifework Award 2016 - Community, acknowledging the unique identity that Surf Life saving Australia has created in the world, as the peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority, primarily through its major role in surf lifesaving.
Mr Leslie Schirato was awarded the UNAA Lifework - Individual 2016 for his contributions to the Australian coffee industry and the Food & Beverage industry at large. For services to the community and philanthropic contributions to health, youth, rural areas, social welfare and those less fortunate. For investing time and mentoring of youth in business and talent development. For the success of a thriving third generation family owned Australian business.
Each year the United Nations only present one award each to an individual and community.
Amongst the distinguished guests at the black tie event were The Hon Paul Fletcher MP - Member for Bradfield and Dr Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta.
In an inspiring and entertaining speech, Mr Schirato shared stories of humble beginnings. He acknowledged his migrant father and the work ethic instilled in him which he has passed onto his children, Rolando and Gabriela. He made specific note of the extraordinary people he has worked with and met all over the world and the fortune this has afforded him.
It is Mr Schirato's renowned Graduate program, his contributions to philanthropic organisations The Curran Foundation and Oz Harvest that have given him the greatest sense of achievement in his outstanding career.
"The UN and Australia have a lot in common with our Coffee Company, we take different beans, human beings from different origins and blend it all together to create the best" said Mr Schirato.
In closing, Mr Schirato quoted former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, "There can be no peace without progress. And no progress without peace"