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Sports volunteer Melvin Mata recognised by Governor of Victoria

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The Governor of Victoria, Hon. Linda Dessau AC and Anthony Howard AM QC organised an exclusive event for Victorians to be recognised for their contribution as Community Sport and Recreation Volunteers, held in the Government House, Melbourne, on 1 September 2022.

Among the hundred who were invited and recognised for the very special occasion was the lone Filipino-Australian on the list, Melvin Mata. Athletes, coaches, organisers, managers, administrators, officials and volunteers were among those honoured from various existing sports, including a few veteran paralympic volunteers. 

“The success on and off the field, day in and day out of the battlegrounds and plays, is a consequence of so many people behind the scenes. The commitment and sacrifices displayed by each of these unsung heroes and their continued service to our sports and the wider Australian community is something worthy of recognition. We are extremely proud that now, this has been acknowledged,” Governor Dessau stated in her speech.

Melvin Mata, a basketball referee, referee coach, table official, and commissioner registered here in Technical Officials Commission (Basketball Victoria and Basketball Australia), is also a bona fide member of FIBA Europe and Oceania. He has been officiating for 27 years, starting in the barrio leagues in the Philippines, to the Nationals, to Ireland and Europe, then moved to Australia in 2009. His involvement overseas started within the Filipino community by educating basketball league organisers to implement their tournaments to play, teaching local referees and table personnel to officiate within the international amateur rules. Melvin also taught them and shared the formula on how to manage high-grade, competitive and sustainable events for the people. 

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While being active in his local Basketball Victoria club, he had the opportunity to network on a multicultural level. Melvin gained respect from the minority nationalities such as the Somalians, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Chinese, Eastern and Western Europeans, etc. by volunteering in League/Tournament Technical Manager and Commissioner roles not just in basketball but in other sports as well.

“This is just my hobby. As a sportsperson, I enjoy my time with people and fitness combined. I learnt teamwork, management, how to be competitive and disciplined, how to be committed and socially responsible in dealing with people of all ages, gender, cultures, abilities and beliefs,” Melvin said.

“Having been recognised in this fashion by the Governor of Victoria herself at Government House, a majestic place, for me is so humbling. Together with those great unsung heroes whom the Governor refers to, is just surreal. I am so proud that those things I love outside of my labour hours are far more rewarding. That is the power of community service and volunteering,” he added.


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