Skipton's John Kavanagh was named Corangamite Shire's Citizen of the Year at yesterday's Australia Day awards ceremony.
Mr Kavanagh, who has lived in Skipton for more than a decade, has been a valuable contributor to his community since joining the CFA at 14 years old.
Upon moving to Skipton, he continued his association with the CFA and became involved in several community groups.
Mr Kavanagh is the current president of the Skipton Cemetery Trust, led the Skipton Progress Association as president for 10 years, helped set up the Skipton branch of the Friends of the RSL and is a member of both the Skipton Hall committee and Skipton and District Photographic Club.
He was active with the St Vincent de Paul Society for more than 25 years and also played a major part in the clean-up after the 2011 floods.
Mr Kavanagh said his motivation came from doing the things that needed to be done.
"You feel like you can contribute in a way. You get ideas and put them forward. They don't always come to fruition but people eventually come around," he said.
"If you feel things should be done, get involved. Do it yourself. Surround yourself with like-minded people. There's no sense sitting at home complaining. You've got to get involved."
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Mr Kavanagh also paid tribute to his wife of 52 years, Cath, who has been with him every step of the way.
"She's worked with me every day of our married life. If anything needs doing, she's out there with me," he said.
Joining Mr Kavanagh in being honoured in the Australia Day awards ceremony were fellow Skipton residents Margaret Clark, Malcolm Fletcher and Leading Senior Constable Craig Walker.
Corangamite Shire Mayor Ruth Gstrein congratulated the winners and 10 Australia Day achievement award recipients.
"We are very fortunate to have such proactive and community-minded people in the shire," Cr Gstrein said.
"They have all given generously of their time and effort to their local and wider communities. Today we formally acknowledge their contribution and also recognise hundreds more in our communities who work tirelessly to help make our shire a great place to live. We also owe them our congratulations and thanks."