Cabonne's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Jamie Jones has used his Australia Day address to thank volunteers in Canowindra and across the shire.
Speaking in front of the crowd at the Canowindra Services Club's community hall, Cr Jones spoke about the community work done by his own family in the region, which ultimately led to him serving on council.
"My family history is not as rich and diverse as many Australians but it is one that is built on service to community, state and country," he said.
"My grandfather, Douglas Dover was born and bred in Molong, only leaving for six years at the age of 20 to service in the Australian Army in Paupa New Guinea in WW2.
"Upon returning, he married my nan Dolcie and worked as a railway settler and volunteered with organisations such as Legacy and the RSL throughout his life.
"This example of service to our country and giving back is something my family is very proud of.
"Since then, many family members have gone onto serve as naval officers, police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses and in various community groups, clubs and organisations.
"I often get asked why, as a young person, I chose to become a councillor. To me, that's a simple answer. I was born and raised in Cabonne and whilst I had the opportunity to move away, I decided to stay and have been fortunate to build a career in the area with the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
"I'm now raising my own family and I believe this region is a great place to live, work and play.
"I've coached junior sport, been involved in numerous community groups and am a volunteer firefighter with the NSW RFS but being a councillor is my way of serving the community and giving back to current and future generations."
Cr Jones noted this year's Australia Day theme of "Reflect, Respect, Celebrate".
"As I have travelled around the shire today, the people of Cabonne have been doing just that, reflecting on our nation's past and in particular, the past few years," he said.
"They've shown respect to the contribution and the achievements of their families, friends and community but most of all, they have celebrated living in this great country."
Cr Jones said despite the challenges thrown at rural communities in the past few years, residents in Cabonne have remained strong and committed to helping one another.
"From all these difficult times though, have come stories that will be woven into Australia's history for generations to come," he said.
"Some of these stories have already been highlighted, like our city cousins raising money for fodder drops, or volunteer firefighters risking their lives to save others or our healthcare professionals ensuring we have not seen the same level of sickness death here than in other parts of the world."
He said it's this attitude that he appreciates most about living in Cabonne.
"Those of you who take on roles to run events in your town, those who maintain our showgrounds, mark our sporting fields, those who help out people in need, those who bake cakes, sell raffle tickets or do whatever it takes to raise funds for a good cause," he said.
"There are many more tasks and activities volunteers undertake in our communities... and that's why I think Australia is such a wonderful place and what I enjoy celebrating on January 26 each year.
"Thank you to our volunteers in Canowindra for your tireless work."