Rome (Agenzia Fides) - Rev. Chris Riley received the Order of Australia award. He is the third Salesian to receive this honour in recent years.
The Order of Australia is assigned to praiseworthy citizens every year on June 12 when Australia celebrates the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The Order of Australia, instituted by Queen herself as head of state on 14 February 1975, is a prestigious award given to people who distinguish themselves for outstanding efforts and commitment.
The motivation for the award was “Rev. Riley’s work to help young people in need with the institution of the association “Youth Off the Streets” and a series of initiatives for adolescents and children in other countries with the support of humanitarian assistance”. In this work to which he is profoundly dedicated Fr Riley has come into personal contact with thousands of abandoned children in the streets of Sydney and in other parts of Asia such as those affected by the tsunami. (See Fides 9/2/2005)
At the moment Fr Riley is in East Timor Est to deliver a shipping of basic commodities outside the capital Dili. On hearing the news of his award and the motivation, Fr Riley said: “I do not need to be encouraged, the children their smiling faces are a good incentive for me to help them overcome poverty and trouble. (AP) (14/6/2006 Agenzia Fides; Righe:20; Parole:247)