Congratulations to Maxine Gross and John Unkles who were each recognised as Citizen of the Year, and to Ben and Mike Zhou who were announced as joint recipients of the Young Citizens of the Year award.

Boroondara Citizens of the Year

Maxine Gross

Maxine Gross is one of two recipients of the 2023 Citizen of the Year Award, recognising her incredible work as the co-founder of You Matter, a charity helping survivors of family violence to restart their lives.

You Matter volunteers work collaboratively with family violence agencies, lawyers and refuges to help their clients. Through the charity, Maxine helps survivors in need to get a ‘fresh start’ by providing in a comfortable, safe and welcoming haven − a stable home, complete with necessary household items.

Since starting You Matter three years ago, Maxine’s warmth and passion has inspired an army of volunteers. She co-founded an invaluable network of support - including 118 ‘havens’ - for survivors of family violence in and around our community.

John Unkles

John Unkles has also been awarded the Citizen of the Year Award for his contribution to the community through volunteering, particularly with the Camberwell Hockey Club, for over 35 years.

John is known at the club as a role model of respect and fair play. His referee credited John for creating a positive social and sporting experience for the hockey club’s over 1,300 members.

John is also being acknowledged for his dedication to the community through his volunteering with Anglicare, the Canterbury Action Group and supporting bushfire victims. This shows how community support is a core value for John.

Young Citizen of the Year

The Young Citizen of the Year award celebrates the people aged 26 and under, to show that their efforts in the community have not gone unnoticed.

Mike and Ben Zhou

Brothers Mike and Ben have together been awarded the Young Citizen of the Year Award for their sustained contribution to our community. Every Christmas  over the last 13 years, they played across Boroondara, where all proceeds have been donated to charity.

The judges were impressed by Mike and Ben’s dedication over many years, and how they have inspired other young people to perform, also donating proceeds to charity.

Find out more

For more information on this award, visit our Boroondara Citizen Awards page.


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