LATE Northern Grampians Shire Councillor and past mayor Ray Hewitt headlined the Australia Day honours list for the shire.
Mr Hewitt died unexpectedly in October and was a councillor for seven years.
His family collected his St Arnaud Citizen of the Year Award on Saturday.
Current Mayor Wayne Rice said the presentation of the award was emotional.
"Ray was a well-deserving recipient," he said.
"Council's decision was not based upon emotion but the quality of the nominations.
"We are proud of all winners and were pleased to have recognised them for their great achievements.
"It was good to see that volunteering is very much alive and well in the shire."
Mr Hewitt was an active community member and had been involved with the Sunraysia Highway Committee, St Arnaud Community Action Network, St Arnaud Recreation Board of Management, Stuart Mill Water Board and Stuart Mill Fire Brigade.
Other St Arnaud Australia Day award winners were Amanda Elliott, Young Citizen of the Year; St Arnaud Turf Club, Community Event of the Year and Brian McCahon, Senior of the Year.
Stawell Australia Day award winners were Ted Gaffney, Citizen of the Year; Cody Sanderson, Young Citizen of the Year; Grampians Wildflower Ride, Community Event of the Year and Chips Fearon, Local Hero
Councillor Rice estimated 150 people attended the St Arnaud celebrations.
He said St Arnaud Australia Day Ambassador David Jenkin was an interesting guest speaker.
"David spoke about how fortunate we are in Australia to have what we have," he said.
"When we compare Australia to other overseas countries, such as Cambodia, where people who have lost their limbs because of the mines are still happy to be alive, we are fortunate. His talk was inspiring."