Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet presented former Hills mayor Larry Bolitho with the NSW Community Service Award.
The NSW Government Community Service Award recognises people who have substantially contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of members of their community, beyond their usual occupation.
Mr Bolitho said it was a ‘‘pleasant surprise’’.
‘‘It was a joy to have been a part of a golden era of volunteer work in our shire,’’ he said.
Mr Perrottet said Mr Bolitho is a ‘‘clear’’ example of what this reward seeks to recognise, ‘‘after 29 years of service to The Hills Council, Larry Bolitho has been a fantastic servant to the people of The Hills and his hard work and dedication is an example to all.’’
Mr Bolitho served on the council from 1983 to 2012.
He was also a member of other outside committees including the Hawkesbury River County Council, the Joint Rivers Committee-Hawkesbury Nepean River Catchment Council, a local government liability insurance pool called Metro-Pool as the chairman, the North West Transport and Town Planning Committee, the Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust as trustee, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, and the Western Sydney Information Technology Centre.
He is still the deputy chairman of the Floodplain Management Association, the foremost Australian body on flood risk management.
‘‘It has been a great delight to have been able to put something back into our local community,’’ he said.
‘‘Thank you to all those who contributed to this golden era of volunteers.’’
Mr Perrottet said through these committees Mr Bolitho successfully liaised and lobbied with the North West Transport and Traffic Committee and state government.
‘‘He took an uncompromising position to serve the community on all things,’’ Mr Perrottet said.
‘‘Throughout Larry’s adult life he has always had a strong and passionate commitment to community volunteer work within local groups, sporting bodies and his church. He has worked tirelessly to build up strong community relations with both his own and other community groups.
‘‘One example of this on an international level is Larry’s work as the president of the Faith Hope and Love Children's Foundation of Australia Inc.
‘‘This foundation helps to raise money in Australia for the provision of building and transport needs in developing countries. Currently these projects are all taking place in the Philippines.
‘‘As the phrase goes, if you need something done give it to a busy person. Larry Bolitho fits that mould.
‘‘His passion for the local area is an inspiration to those of us who choose to dedicate ourselves to serving others.
‘‘For that I thank him.’’