The title of 'hero' doesn't rest easy on Bernie Shakeshaft's shoulders.
The former Gunnedah youth officer received the 2020 NSW Local Hero Award at the Australian of the Year Awards last night in Sydney.
The founder of BackTrack Youth Works, Mr Shakeshaft dedicates his days to helping youth who have lost their way.
Since the unique program was formed in 2016, he and his team have changed the lives of more than 1000 youth.
At the awards ceremony, Mr Shakeshaft said he was "humbled" to be there, but felt his job "isn't anything to do with being a hero".
"When I hear that word 'hero', I think of those kids that we work with. To me, they're the heroes that get up and make a difference in their lives," he said.
Mr Shakeshaft said there was a national "crisis" in the realm of youth and BackTrack was shooting straight.
"I think the work we do is a job that needs to be done," he said.
"I've heard it said that children are the most honest barometer of how we're going as a society, and while I see so many wonderful things going on, I also see so many things that are just not working.
"To our community, let's step up and create the opportunities. To the people that we work with, I go, 'This certainly isn't about Bernie Shakeshaft - it's about a whole group of extraordinary people that are banding together to make a difference for our little Aussie kids growing up'."