Lake Bolac's own Karen McIntyre has been recognised for her volunteer work with an Order of Australia Medal.
Her passion for Lake Bolac has driven her to do an astounding amount for the town.
Ms McIntyre founded the Lake Bolac Development Association in 2000 and has been the Lake Bolac Informaton and Business Centre management committee president since its formation in 2004.
The centre has brought vital services to the small town.
It includes a Bendigo Bank branch, Visitor Information Centre, library service, and Centrelink and Medicare offices.
Ms McIntyre's passion for public services extended to the Lake Bolac Library as well.
She is a founding member and has contributed $30,000 in seed funding raised via the Lake Bolac Development Association.
Ms McIntyre is also a founding member of the bank, has been treasurer of the Lake Bolac and District Historical Society since 2011 and a committee member since 1994, received a 25 years of service medal to the Wickliffe Fire Brigade, has authored and edited several historical books about the area, and has been the director of McIntyre Agricultural Enterprises since 2009.
Ms McIntyre said she does it all to give back to the community she lives and works in with her family.
"We would not have survived the 10 year drought we had and the economic downturns we've had, and the hard time with farming and cropping we've had without having the resources we have and the volunteering we have going on at the centre - it's kept the community together," Ms McIntyre said.
"For me it's to give back something to my community that I've lived in, raised a family in, and want to continue to farm sustainably into the future in.
"I want to give back to the community that I live in and love, and make the world a better place for having been in it."
Ms McIntyre is also driven by a desire to see the town grow.
"I think the township can support a greater population," she said.
"We've got a lot of community resources and facilities and we could easily double and triple our population and not have to build more things. We can use what we have more effectively.
"I'd (also) love to see the walking track around the lake come to fruition - that was one of the Pick My Projects - the one for Lake Bolac was to create a formed walking track around the lake so that you could take advantage of those other walks that are near us."
Despite the recognition, Ms McIntyre said it took a village to, well, make a village.
"I'd like to acknowledge that there are a lot more people in our local community who would equally deserve an Order of Australia Medal - people that have mentored me," she said.
"I'm honoured to be recognised as a contributor to my community ... I've got a lot more to do for Lake Bolac."
Leolyn Watkins also received an Order of Australia Medal for his services to Ararat.
Mr Watkins has been involved with the Stawell/Ararat Cross Country Club since 1984, and has held roles as president, secretary, sponsor and competitor.
He was also a committee member at the Mount Cole Cemetery Trust, a gardener at Aradale Mental Asylum, a member of the Warrak Fire Brigade, on the committee of the Warrak Hall, Warrak Recreation Reserve and the Ararat Show Society.
He is also a life member of the Stawell/Ararat Cross Country Club, Warrak Fire Brigade and Ararat Show Society.
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