Mr PEARSON (Essendon—Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Government Services, Minister for Creative Industries)-  It is my privilege to honour the life of Nicolas Abouzeid, a very special person in my electorate of Essendon, who passed away in November 2020. Nicolas was born in Machghara in Lebanon in 1930, and migrated to Australia with his wife and children in 1981. A retail butcher in Lebanon, Nicolas established the family’s first food business in Collingwood. The Collingwood business was the foundation of Moonee Ponds food institution Fresh on Young, established in 2007. Nicolas worked side by side with his family until only a couple of years ago.

Nicolas’s family describe him as a proud, dignified man full of kindness and goodwill. His family always came first, but he made time for God and his beloved work. Dinners with the whole family under Nicolas’s roof occurred every single Saturday night. He was their much-beloved patriarch, and at the age of 90, he is the first family member to be buried on Australian soil.

Nicolas was a man of the community. He made sure the family business gave fresh fruit and vegetables to schools, community centres and anyone in need. No-one ever went hungry around Nicolas. He instilled that generosity of spirit in his family and leaves them a grand legacy of his kindness and love—giving and never taking, always giving. Today Fresh on Young is a pillar in my local community, regularly donating to local organisations. Food is about people and community, and Nicolas understood the absolute essence of family, people and community, and he showed that in every single interaction he had with those fortunate enough to cross his path.

Nicolas is very much missed by his wife, Souad, and his children, Lee, Tony, David and Amal, and their families. He had a special connection with each of his grandchildren—Nicolas, Sandra, Jean Paul, Jessika, Sylina, Charbel, Anthony, Michael, Alannah, Joshua, Tiana, Nicolas, Emilio and Luciana. Thank you, Nicolas, for the gift you gave to our community.