They are the quiet achievers working tirelessly for the Maitland community, but now Wilma Lilley and Hayley Johns have been recognised with one of the city's highest accolades. Ms Lilley was named Maitland's Citizen of the Year during the Australia Day celebrations at Maitland Town Hall on Sunday.
She said she was "humbled" by the accolade, and sees volunteering as a healing process.
"I'm very surprised. There are a lot of worthwhile people doing worthwhile things. I'm grateful for the acknowledgement but it's not why I do what I do," Ms Lilley said.
Since moving to the region, Ms Lilley has been involved with groups working for children, vulnerable, aged and those with a disability.
She has volunteered with the Lower Hunter Peer Support and Lower Hunter Temporary Care, as well as serving as a board member of Volunteers for Palliative Care. Ms Lilley is also a foundation member of the Rutherford/Telarah Lions Club. The city's Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Hayley Johns. "It's nice to have youth acknowledged in the local community, and it's great that there are opportunities for young people available," Ms Johns said.
Growing up in Gloucester, the 21-year-old woman has been an Ambassador for Regional Youth and the Agricultural Societies Counci of NSW Next Generation delegate. Ms Johns was also selected to participate in UNICEF Australia's NSW Drought Summit. She is currently the Ambassador for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.