(MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA) — Lebanese-Australian activist Tony Yacoub was honored recently with a Medal of the Order of Australia from Queen Elizabeth II for his “service to the Lebanese community.”
Yacoub, 63, has served as president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) in Australia and New Zealand since 2011, and previously from 2004 to 2009.
“I’m really, really proud and honored to receive the Order of Australia medal for my service to the Lebanese community, not only in Victoria but all of Australia and New Zealand,” Yacoub told Melbourne-based newspaper The Herald Sun.
The Queen’s official memorandum cited Yacoub’s efforts at WLCU, Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, and Victorian Bush Fire Appeal, among others.
Yacoub was also recognized as an active parishioner at the Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Parish in Victoria for over 30 years.
The Herald Sun reports that Yacoub underwent seven operations between March and November 2014, leaving Yacoub recovering for months.
Nonetheless, he continued his role as WLCU president — organizing events, festivals, and award ceremonies to celebrate Lebanese emigrants.
“I was running all the activities from my mobile phone from text messages and emails,” he said.
Yacoub immigrated to Australia in 1974 with his parents and siblings, and worked at picture frame shops for 33 years.