THE KNEES of Peak Hill woman Karen Robinson almost gave way when she was honoured with a state award in Sydney recognising 35 years of service caring for more than 200 foster children in the region.
The 58-year-old won the Pride of Australia Medal for Care and Compassion in NSW on September 25 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts event.
The UnitingCare Burnside foster carer is now eligible to win at the National Pride of Australia Medal in her category on November 15 at the Sydney Opera House ceremony.
The award ceremony was a very humbling and daunting experience for Ms Robinson.
"I didn't think I was going to win and then they called my name; the wind was knocked out of me and I was crying," she said.
Nominees in 10 categories, who had achieved incredible accomplishments like Ms Robinson, also attended the Sydney awards ceremony.
Despite winning the award Ms Robinson remains very modest about her years of service with UnitingCare Burnside.
"There was a little boy who was 14 and he had jumped off a waterfall to save a girl's life," she said. "I look at my life and I think it is nothing spectacular."
There was an opportunity to mingle with famous faces at the awards night including NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley, supermodel Megan Gale, news reporter Sandra Sully and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.
Ms Robinson credited her support network with allowing her to continue as a foster carer for more than three decades.
"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way; my husband, my children, UnitingCare Burnside and the local school," she said.
Ms Robinson encouraged others to become foster carers.
"It is the most rewarding thing you can do with your life,'' she said.