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Australia Day Awards recipients

The Maroondah Australia Day Awards recognise the achievements of Australians and the contribution they make to the Maroondah community. Awards are presented in three categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Community Event of the Year.

Nominate now for our Australia Day Awards 2021

Australia Day celebrations 2020

Citizen of the Year – Averil Embury

Cr Mike Symon and Citizen of the Year Averil Embury

The Australian Red Cross program ‘Trauma Teddies’ is national program. The Red Cross has supplied Trauma Teddies to the Maroondah Hospital Emergency Department for over 10 years totally, in excess of 10,000 teddies.

Trauma Teddies are hand knitted toys given to children and adults who are affected by some form of disruption to their normal lives, which causes them anxiety and panic.

Averil began by knitting skins (the two sides of the Teddy) but soon extended her involvement by offering to finish the teddies by sewing them up, sewing on the Australian Red Cross label, filling them and giving the teddy life by adding eyes, ears, neck and a smile of love.

Averil has been the main ‘finisher’ for the area for many years, finishing an average of 100 per month.

Averil has also been volunteering at Olivet for the past 20 years where she assists the mending of pillowcases, food protectors, turning old sheets into laundry skip covers and the list goes on; nothing is too much for Averil.


Young Citizen of the Year – Ben Voogd

Young citizen of the year Ben Voogd

Ben gives of his time assisting Ringwood Little Athletics, Little Athletics Victoria, Little Athletics Junior Development Coaching Squads, and is a team member of Ringwood Seniors where his contribution to set up and assist is acknowledged by his peers and Club Committee. Ben has been coaching Junior Athletics to state titles over the past four years.

In addition to coaching, Ben is a National and State title holder, representing Australia and achieving Gold in the Oceania Championships. He has also broken Meet Records, won Australian Championships representing Victoria and won Victorian Championships representing Ringwood.

Ben was a Maroondah Leader 2019 Junior Sports Star of the Year and overall State Leader Junior Sports Star of the Year.


Community Event of the Year – Winter Shelter

Community event of the year 2020

Winter Shelter is a Maroondah churches and community response to local homelessness.

It is the mission of Winter Shelter to provide not only shelter but food and honour for people who need comfort and support. Winter Shelter works together with local Christian churches to provide the best support to those without anywhere to stay in Maroondah.

“A warm meal, a safe place to sleep, and a welcoming smile” for the homeless rough sleepers of Maroondah.

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