Dedicated volunteers have been hailed as community champions at this year’s Australia Day awards celebrations in Whittlesea and Hume.

Mernda historian Gillian Borrack is Whittlesea’s Citizen of the Year, recognised for her work with the Friends of Westgarthtown for more than 20 years.

Ms Borrack was the driving force behind Ziebell’s Farmhouse and Garden in Westgarthtown receiving museum accreditation from Museums Australia Victoria last year. She has also run a number of events in the wider community including German Fest and the council’s annual cultural heritage program.

Epping CFA volunteer Liam Gallagher is Whittlesea’s Young Citizen of the Year. He has been a CFA volunteer since 2016 and was named Epping’s 2018 firefighter of the year.

Whittlesea’s Senior Citizen of the Year is South Morang model aeroplane teacher Brian Crowley who has been teaching students for more than a decade.

Mill Park primary school teacher Joshua Beare received the Access and Inclusion Citizen of the Year award for his work at The Lakes Primary School assisting students from different cultural backgrounds who have become disengaged with school.

Hume’s Citizen of the Year is Craigieburn volunteer Val Price. Ms Price has lived in Craigieburn since 1974 and has been involved with community groups including Craigieburn Primary School, Hume Relay for Life, Craigieburn Netball Association and Craigieburn Little Athletics.

Sunbury’s Stephanie Challis is Hume’s Young Citizen of the Year for her advocacy work for people with mobility difficulties, while the Sunbury Agricultural Show is the Community Event of the Year.