This year on Australia Day we recognised our most deserving citizens at the Boroondara Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony by announcing the 2018 Boroondara Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

The awards are a way to celebrate what unites us as a community and to thank those local citizens who continue to dedicate their time and expertise to making life better for Boroondara residents.

Vivienne Harkness was named Boroondara Citizen of the Year for services to the Boroondara Stroke Support Group (BSSG). Vivienne has made a positive difference to stroke survivors, their carers, families and friends. Together with other members of the BSSG, Vivienne was fundamental in creating the Boroondara Community Stroke Hub, a model that has been picked up by the Stroke Association of Victoria and is being rolled out across the state.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Bernie Smith who, for the past seven years, was the driving force behind the development of the recently established North Balwyn Men’s Shed.

Special commendations were also handed to Anne Brown for volunteering her professional skills supporting Guide Dogs Victoria for the past seven years and to Walter Scharley for volunteering his time and professional skills at Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre and supporting a number of other Neighbourhood Houses in Boroondara.

The awards are open to Australian citizens living, studying, working or volunteering in Boroondara. The Volunteer of the Year must live in Boroondara.