A great honour for Christel

Congratulations to Christel Huwald, our Elder Citizen of the Year 2021! On Australia Day, Christel’s devotion to her church and wider community as a volunteer has finally been rewarded with this new prestigious title by Knox City Council. Find out why Christel has won and why she is such an inspiring leader in the Martin Luther Homes community.

Christel’s story reflects the biography of many German post-war migrants. She was was born in Berlin in 1936, grew up in Germany during the war, and migrated to Australia when she was only 19 years old.

During her journey by ship to Australia, she spent her time teaching other passengers English. In Australia, her desire to help others and build communities did not diminish. Christel became one of the first female Elders of the Trinity Church in East Melbourne; a position in which she has continued to volunteer for over 20 years.

Soon after becoming involved with Martin Luther Homes in Boronia, Christel quickly became an integral member of the community. She regularly volunteered her time and contributed her knowledge as an interior designer. At the beginning, there was limited funding so Christel helped as much as she could by sewing curtains for all the houses and starting the beautiful gardens that are still there to this date.

Christel now resides in Martin Luther Homes and is an active member of the committee of the independent living units. She regularly organises get-togethers, trips, community events, and consistently takes the initiative to offer help and assistance. She is always the first one to start preparing and the last one to leave after cleaning up.

Christel has devoted her life to helping her family and those around her. She is passionate about the communities she has lived in throughout her life. Her dedication to the people around her is truly inspiring.

On behalf of everyone at Martin Luther Homes, we would like to join Knox City Council by congratulating Christel on this remarkable achievement. As soon as the exciting news broke, others members of our retirement village started preparing a special event to celebrate her achievement together.

As always, Christel and her husband Horst reacted in a very humble and grateful manner, although we are very certain that it will be hard for her to simply rest for once and enjoy her achievement while others do the work.

Listen to Christel Huwald on SBS German.