The Rotary Club of Wollongong recognised immediate past president Leigh Robinson for his contribution to Rotary and the community at its annual Changeover Dinner.
Mr Robinson was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) by district governor Garry Browne after incoming president Rod Oxley talked of his exceptional leadership and pivotal role in Rotary programs and projects.
A Paul Harris Fellowship is a Rotarian's highest honour and is recognition of their significant role in upholding the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.
Mr Robinson's citation read of how he demonstrated the qualities and commitment worthy of such an honour after he accepted the role of president after only a short time as a member.
"He willingly filled the void as a result of the position of president becoming unexpectedly vacant and filled the role for approximately 20 months," Mr Oxley said.
"Leigh has displayed exceptional leadership and has played a pivotal role in many Rotary programs and projects. Of particular note was his leadership in having Rotary clubs in the Illawarra embark on a significant community campaign to ensure that the Illawarra-based Ambulance Service aero-medical helicopter rescue and retrieval service remained in the Illawarra. The campaign achieved success when the NSW government announced that the service would remain in the Illawarra."
The citation also acknowledged how Mr Robinson had been a driving force behind the Twilight Tournaments program, which provides disadvantaged and at-risk youth the opportunity to participate in organised and supervised activities.
They also receive mentoring, life-skill training and a meal in an initiative to give them something to do on a Saturday night.
Mr Oxley said they were just two examples of the leadership displayed by Mr Robinson.
Other members recognised at the dinner were Andrew Miller, who was also awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, and Ian McKensley, who received a Sapphire Pin to his existing PHF.