Dot Vickery said she cried for two days after being notified she was receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia, "to think that people thought that much of me".
The former Guyra citizen of the year has been selected for Australia Day honours for her service to local government and the community.
"A lot of people do a lot of things; to be picked is totally overwhelming. It took me a long time to get my head around it," Mrs Vickery OAM said.
Her contribution has included serving on Guyra Shire Council from 2008 to 2016; and, as a member of the aged care committee, campaigning for 10 years for the new Kolora Aged Care Facility, finally built in 2018.
When Guyra was amalgamated with Armidale Dumaresq, Mrs Vickery sat on an advisory committee.
"I felt Guyra was losing out, so I tried to push for it where I could," she said.
A brush with breast cancer at this time spurred on her community service, Mrs Vickery said.
"I had lots of things I felt I should do, so I just went into top gear," she said.
"I love the community, and I could see so much happening with the amalgamation on the horizon and trying to get things done."
Mrs Vickery's list of community service is long: she is president of the Guyra MPS Health Advisory Committee and of the Guyra Neighbourhood Centre.
She is a steward and former head steward for Guyra Show, and she is a member and former president of Guyra Garden Club.
She has volunteered for NSW Cancer Council's Daffodil Day since 1995, and been a member and volunteer at New England Wig Library.
Mrs Vickery is also vice-president of Guyra Historical Museum.
She encourages more people to be involved in community service.
"Everything's going to change after these fires and this drought, because people have had to volunteer and support other people, where they just did their own thing in their own world," she said.
"It's made people aware a lot of people in the community are really struggling."