The Dyldam Parramatta Eels were awarded with the top prize at the Zest Awards last night claiming the ‘Exceptional Community Partnership across a Region’ for the Eels Read with a Mate program through the Eels Educate program.

Eels Read with a Mate, where The Parramatta Eels partnered with Holroyd City Council, Parramatta City Council and Community Migrant Resource Centre, is a program which focuses on encouraging fathers and father-like figures to read and engage with their children, learning about early literacy and brain development and the important roles they play in their child’s development, together with the use of Rugby League role models and themed reading materials and activities.

The ZEST Awards are the annual celebration of innovation and creativity of the Community Sector and has a rich history of recognising the great outcomes achieved in Greater Western Sydney. The Awards, a partnership project between Western Sydney Community Forum, TRI Community Exchange and WESTIR, have celebrated 377 outstanding projects and individuals from the community across the past four years.

The ZEST Awards showcase the great work of the Community Sector across the region, promoting a positive image of Greater Western Sydney region through highlighting our assets, our diversity and our creative and innovative work. This region includes Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, Hills Shire, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee.