NSW Governor Marie Bashir was given a formal civic reception in Wollongong on Monday night.
Professor Bashir was at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach to deliver the 22nd annual Hargrave Lecture at The Illawarra Connection's June meeting.
It was expected to be her last official appearance in the region before retiring later this year and Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said Wollongong City Council wanted to acknowledge her significant contribution as Governor of NSW.
More than 80 guests were invited to the civic reception at 6pm before Prof Bashir joined close to 300 members and their guests for a black-tie dinner.
The Illawarra Connection president Roger Summerill said the region's peak networking body changed the date of its bi-monthly dinner at the Novotel just so it could fit into the NSW Governor's busy schedule and secure her as a speaker.
"Her Excellency has made a marvellous contribution to NSW as Governor and she is one very special inspirational person who is much respected and indeed loved across the state," Mr Summerill said.
Previous Hargrave Lecture presenters have included ANSTO chief executive Dr Adrian Paterson, former NSW premier and president of the World Anti-Doping Agency John Fahey, and World Vision Australia chief executive officer Tim Costello.
The NSW Governor had a distinguished career in the medical field before being appointed the first female governor of NSW in 2001.
She was also named Australian Mother of the Year in 1971.
She has three children and six grandchildren.