Champions of our community recognised at the Sir John Monash Awards

 04 October 2019

Deborah Upstill Volunteer of the Year

An exceptional commitment to volunteerism and the welfare of people in the community has been recognised by Monash Council with Deborah Upstill winning the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Deborah, who was also named Volunteer of the Year, has selflessly contributed to the community through roles at various organisations in Monash over the past 25 years, usually taking on multiple activities at a time. Some of her volunteer roles are with Monash’s Meals on Wheels service where she’s helped since 1997 and the Monash Home Library Service,  collecting clients on bus rounds to bring to library locations and also delivering bags of books to homes when people are not able to travel.

Mayor Shane McCluskey said 27 nominations had been received for the annual awards and choosing winners had been a challenging task for the committee, however Deborah’s tireless efforts and determination had stood out for the judges.

“Deborah and her fellow nominees are wonderful examples of the extraordinary community spirit that we enjoy in Monash,” Cr McCluskey said.

“Our community is incredible. We have people who readily and generously give back to the community in many areas from sporting clubs, to working with older people and children, or protecting our environment. They are are making a real difference in the lives of so many.

“It’s a privilege for Council to acknowledge our community champions with these special awards and demonstrate our gratitude for all they do.”

The winners and high commendations in the categories of the awards are:

  • Multicultural Champion – Dr Hui Yang 
  • Active Monash  –  Steve Ilett
  • Outstanding Advocate of People with Disabilities – Nicky Surie
  • Sustainability Leadership  –  Ian Moodie. High Commendations – Hiruka Kularatne, Jenny Lindholm
  • Youth Leadership Award  – Anirudh Prakash. High Commendations – Medhi Juma Khan, Lisa Ping
  • Volunteer of the Year – Deborah Upstill. High Commendation – Rosemary Ng
  • Inspirational Women’s Leadership – Chrissy Dunienville. High Commendations – Konstantina Kouroutsidou, Christiane Mamotte
  • Positive Ageing Leadership – Val Murray. High Commendations – Lisbeth Calder, Janice Heeley

The winner of the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership was chosen from among the category winners. Each winner will be profiled in the Monash Bulletin newsletter over the coming year, so people can learn more about their special contributions. Awards recognising members of the local community and honouring Sir John Monash have run since 1998 when Norm Gibbs won the inaugural Sir John Monash Community Leadership award.

Media Contact: Emily Webb 0466 036 560 or email


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