We celebrated some of the unsung heroes of our community today with the 2022 Boroondara Citizen of the Year awards.

Held as part of the annual Boroondara Australia Day citizenship ceremony at the Hawthorn Arts Centre, the awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions Boroondara residents have made to enrich our community and improve the lives of the individuals within it. Boroondara Mayor Cr Jane Addis congratulated the winners who work tirelessly for the Boroondara community and beyond.

“The gift of giving hope, strength and knowledge to empower your community is a precious gift. Boroondara is growing stronger and becoming more vibrant post-COVID lockdowns because our 180,000 strong community share, and work on a key goal, which is to continue living in harmony”, said Mayor Cr Jane Addis.

Three Boroondara citizens received awards. Surrey Hills Progress Association (SHPA) President Greg Buchanan was named Citizen of the Year, while there were joint winners for the Young Citizen of the Year with 15-year-old youth nutrition advocate and Body Confident Collective co-chair Rhea Werner receiving the award with 22-year-old Belinda Battey for her commitment to supporting people experiencing disadvantage and/or mental health issues, notably as the volunteer live-in house manager at Servants Community Housing in Hawthorn.

A special commendation was also awarded to the CEO of Servants Community Housing Amanda Donohoe for supporting hundreds of residents across multiple decades to connect with housing support services in their time of dire need.

Boroondara also welcomed 95 new Australian citizens on the day, as people from 22 different countries were presented with a Certificate of Australian Citizenship after pledging their allegiance to Australia and its laws.