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

Boroondara Citizen of the Year award

Maxine Gross

Maxine Gross received a Boroondara Citizen of the Year award in 2023 for her incredible work as the co-founder of You Matter, a charity helping survivors of family violence to restart their lives.

Volunteers at You Matter work 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 3 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 also received the Boroondara Citizen of the Year award in 2023 for his volunteer work over the last 25 years, particularly with the Camberwell Hockey Club.

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.

Boroondara Young Citizen of the Year award

The Boroondara Young Citizen of the Year award celebrates 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 Boroondara Young Citizen of the Year award in 2023 for their sustained contribution to our community. Every Christmas over the last 13 years, they played the violin 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 of the Year Awards page.

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