The Australia Day 2020 Honours List has recognised more than 800 Australians across a diverse range of contributions and services in fields including professional endeavours, community work, Australia's Defence Force and Emergency Services.
This year, about 45 per cent of awards were for outstanding service or achievement in the community.
Here are the Illawarra's Australia Day 2020 Honours recipients:
Professor Justin Yerbury - Member of the Order of Australia
Prominent Wollongong scientist Professor Justin Yerbury paid tribute to others while celebrating the news he'd been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year's honours list.
"I am humbled by the recognition; the AM is a great honour," he told the Mercury. "The award is a reflection of the effort and support of many people, without who my work would not be possible.
"First and foremost nothing would be possible without my wife Rachel, not even life itself. My daughters Talia and Maddy, family and friends have also been great supporters of my work.
"I also have an amazing research team and some close-knit collaborators that have all gone above and beyond what would normally be expected of them."
Ray Brown - Medal of the Order of Australia
The Grevillea raybrownii is a shrub found throughout the northern Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
It has lovely dense clusters of brown-toned flowers in spring but, Bulli resident Ray Brown says, it is also "a prickly bloody plant".
This, says the droll 73-year-old - who has been awarded an OAM this year for his services to conservation and the environment - might explain why the flower became his namesake.
The other explanation is that the professional gardener has dedicated much of his life to nurturing plants and even creating his own varieties of grevillea, like the Bulli Beauty. For 30 years Mr Brown has been volunteering his time to take care of the Illawarra Grevillea Park, hidden behind Bulli Showground.
Rob Edwards - Medal of the Order of Australia
It was during a diving trip to Fiji in 2008 that East Corrimal father-of-four Rob Edwards knew it was time to help the island nation.
"I visited a school and the principal raced out to turn off the generator he had been running to do a short period of work on a computer. They could only afford fuel enough to run that generator a few hours each week," Mr Edwards said.
Just over 10 years after founding the It's Time Foundation, Mr Edwards has been honoured with an OAM for service to the international community of Fiji.
Richard Farrant - Medal of the Order of Australia
Richard Farrant was just a teenager when he first joined a golf club.
He didn't realise it at the time, but that move kick-started his love affair with the sport. Mr Farrant, 82, has been involved in golf, from club to national level, for more than six decades.
His list of achievements include leading the Australian Veterans Golfers Union and holding various roles - including president and director - at his beloved Kiama Golf Club for nearly 30 years.
The Shell Cove resident's service to golf has now been rewarded with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in this year's Australia Day Honours.
Colleen Mandicos - Medal of the Order of Australia
Colleen Mandicos says it was an experience at an early age that eventually led to her desire to make a difference.
"When I was ten, we lived in Wollongong and we sold our house to a Greek family," the 73-year-old said.
"I can remember some of our neighbours not being happy that we sold it to Greek people, because they thought it was going to bring the standard of the neighbourhood down.
"They had a five-year-old daughter, and because they'd only been in Australia for about six months, the daughter had to do all the interpreting for the family to purchase that house."
She said while this experience may not have entirely resonated back then, by her teens it had helped create an interest in "multicultural services, migrants and people having to move from one country to another to establish themselves".
Dr Leoni Degenhardt - Member of the Order of Australia
Acknowledged with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award in this year's honours list is a fitting reward for Dr Leoni Degenhardt.
The Gerroa educator received the top award for significant service to education through the independent schools sector.