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Today, the City of Boroondara recognised its most deserving citizens at the Boroondara Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony by announcing the 2018 Boroondara Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Councillor Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara, said, “The awards are a way to publicly honour people who do so much for our community, often improving the lives of those less fortunate or in positions of vulnerability.

“The Australia Day citizenship ceremony is a celebration of unity, cultural diversity and civic pride.

“It is in this context of celebrating what unites us as a community that we show our gratitude to those local citizens who continue to dedicate their time and expertise to making life better for Boroondara residents,” Cr Parke said. 

Vivienne Harkness was named Boroondara Citizen of the Year for services to the Boroondara Stroke Support Group (BSSG). Since joining BSSG in 2011 and more recently as the group’s President, Vivienne has made a positive difference to stroke survivors (including her late husband), 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 supporting a number of 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.

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