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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

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Byron College director, Chantal Abouchar AOM, with permaculture tutor, Lauren O’Reilly, and horticulture student, Stephanie Nedosyko. Photo Jeff ‘Honourhorriffics’ Dawson

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

In a coup for the college as Term One gets underway, Ms Abouchar was recognised in this year’s Honours List just three months after taking the helm at the BCC.

‘I’m honoured and excited to be part of the college and the vibrant creative Northern Rivers community,’ Ms Abouchar said.

‘BCC is a much-loved and valued organisation in the Byron Shire and beyond.’

Media career

Ms Abouchar was given the OAM for the significant contribution to the Australian and global community she has made during her extended career.

Beginning her career at ABC Television in Sydney, she worked as a cinematographer, producer and director specialising in factual and documentary programs.

In 1997, she received a Walkley Award for a story about East Timor and its resistance to Indonesian occupation.

Featured on ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program and screened internationally, it detailed the East Timorese fight for independence. Other work included Dying to Leave, a Logie- and Walkley-winning documentary series which explored global stories of people smuggling and human trafficking.

Later, Ms Abouchar began helping people on their entrepreneurial journey, founding The Studio, a not-for-profit organisation that became a leading creative business and technology incubator, providing community and networking for entrepreneurs and industry professionals.

World class education

A regular visitor to the Shire for 40 years, Ms Abouchar said the opportunity to work and live in the community was too good to miss.

‘My vision for the college is for it to continue to deliver world class education and evolve to meet the needs of the community,’ she said.

‘We have some exciting projects underway or in the idea stage, including a demonstration garden and arts and cultural initiatives.’

For more information on the college visit: www.byroncollege.org.au.

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