Mudgee volunteer Pat Burns was named the Dubbo Electorate ‘Woman of the Year Award’ by local member Troy Grant at a ceremony on Monday.
The ever humble Mrs Burns, who has been a driver with Mudgee Community Transport since it began in 1994, said “volunteers don’t seek rewards, we do it because we choose to”.
“We get a great deal of satisfaction from what we do, it has been and still is a privilege to be able to give something back to the town that I was born in,” she said.
"Mudgee’s been pretty good to me and my family and I’ve always derived pleasure from any volunteer work that I’ve done within the community.
“This award is about volunteering and I want to pay tribute to our volunteers; to the Community Transporters; the Meals on Wheelers; the respite carers; the Rural Fire Service; the Rescue Squad; the SES.
“Because without them vital organisations wouldn’t be able to function and probably wouldn’t exist.”
Mr Grant said that when he spoke to her on the phone she was “taken aback” and that she’s one of the contributors that helps the community thrive.
“The typical thing someone of your integrity says is ‘there are so many others who do more than me’,” he said.
“Straight away you were looking at others but if there weren’t many Pat Burns in our community it wouldn’t be anywhere as good as it is.
“Every year I go around the electorate and I see community members contributing amazing work; whether that’s professional; private; charity; or for community groups.
“People who move around our community who never seek recognition - that just do it for the sole purpose of making a contribution because they know there’s a need there.
“And if there wasn’t a collective group of these people our communities wouldn’t be anywhere near as great as they are.”
Mid-Western Regional Council mayor Des Kennedy, who nominated her, said “from the community, thank you very much for all that you do, because thankfully there’s still people like you out there”.
Mrs Burns was named the Mid-Western Region ‘Citizen of the Year’ in 2016.