Honouring Hawthorn’s Citizen Of The Year

It was my pleasure on Thursday the 4th of February 2021, to take a moment in Parliament to honour Yvonne Giltinan, a Hawthorn constituent who was recognised by the City of Boroondara on the 26th of January as both Citizen of the Year, and Outstanding Local Hero.

As I said to my colleagues in the Legislative Assembly, I have always been proud of the bright community spirit within Hawthorn. Yvonne is one of the area’s key contributors to this spirit.

Yvonne is the founder and choral director of the Yarra Gospel Community Choir. 17 years ago, she established the choir with only 4 members. Today, it sits at 70.

Although COVID threatened the viability of choirs, Yvonne dedicated countless hours to keeping choir members connected. Yarra Gospel became an online hub for cooking videos, singing videos, and interviews with composers.

When asked what motivated her to create a community choir from nothing, Yvonne responds that she saw an opportunity to bring people together through music.

Regardless of your faith, Yvonne believes that gospel speaks to each life in ways we could never imagine, passing hope through generations. The thriving community of Yarra Gospel and its endurance in as trying a year as 2020 demonstrates this.

Congratulations Yvonne, and thank you all for that you do in Hawthorn.

Photo from https://www.yarragospel.org/