Time to salute our volunteers

5 volunteers standing on the stair at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Volunteers make the world go around, particularly during a pandemic. The 2022 Boroondara Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise three special people and a program that all operate with our community at heart.

2022 Boroondara Volunteers of the Year (joint winners)

Matthew Etty-Leal

Matthew was recognised for his volunteer service across four decades. He has presented more than 200 Australian history sessions to community groups including five Boroondara aged-care centres, U3A, Probus clubs and history groups. He reads to residents at Baptcare, accompanies BASSCare clients on day trips, is a reader with Vision Radio, volunteers at the Balwyn Historical Society and St Barnabas Balwyn, and has been a member of Council’s Community Grants Panel.

Margaret Rogers

Margaret was a member of the Camberwell Community Centre Management Committee for 21 years, including 15 years as President, when she was instrumental in advocating for and supporting the centre’s redevelopment. She was also involved with Victorian Scouts for more than 20 years, and with the Victorian Flute Guild. Margaret runs weekly tai chi sessions at Bowen Gardens and supports tai chi activities throughout the community.

I feel I’m accepting this award for all the volunteers in Boroondara, not just me; it’s an appreciation for all the work volunteers do.

– Margaret Rogers

COVID-19 Recovery: Outstanding Local Hero Award

Winner: Susan Zammit

Susan has been a community visitor volunteer with the Office of the Public Advocate for 19 years. She visits vulnerable Victorians living in supported residential services in the Boroondara area to ensure they are safe and that their human rights are being upheld. During the pandemic, when face-to-face visits were limited due to lockdowns, Susan was quick to pivot to ‘remote safeguarding’ to ensure residents were protected and their wellbeing was maintained.

Volunteer Program Impact Award

Winner: Camcare’s Emergency Relief Program

Community organisation Camcare’s Emergency Relief Program has assisted more than 8,000 community members during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing fresh food and other material aid to people in financial hardship or difficult circumstances. It also offered counselling, provided information on COVID-19 safety protocols and vaccinations, organised referrals and created avenues for youth involvement.