AUSTRALIA Day began early for Melinda Brown when she was named the Lake Macquarie Citizen of the Year.
Ms Brown was one of several honorees at a council ceremony last night, claiming the award for her commitment to numeracy and literacy.
She has spent more than a decade supporting children in 40 schools as part of the Moolobinbah Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and the West Wallsend Homework Centre.
Ms Brown said last night the honour was an unexpected delight.
‘‘It’s a great achievement to be recognised,’’ she said.
‘‘You don’t really recognise how much you have done until someone tells you.’’
Ms Brown said she planned to extend her community work, potentially bringing sport to the elderly.
Other winners named at last night’s ceremony included Lake Macquarie Youth Advisory Council members Arjay Martin and Andreena Kardamis (Young Citizens of the Year) and Volunteers of the Year Denise Heath and Frank Allen.