Ralph Naden celebrated his Order of Australia medal with a special dance yesterday in Victoria Park.
Mr Naden was awarded an Order of Australia medal for service to the Indigenous community of western NSW in January this year. He officially received the award last week in Sydney.
Mr Naden said helping to improve the lives of children in the region was its own reward.
"It's a great honour to get something like this," he said.
"I've been working with kids for quite a few years, as a mentor and I am still doing it, helping kids and seeing them grow is a great thing.
"I love seeing that there is something at the end of the tunnel for troubled youth, some think they can never get away from the edge of the cliff they are living on.
"But I always tell them to step back from the edge, give yourself some space, get back to the land and soon you'll be walking on solid ground. I have seen some youngsters off the rails, but they went and got jobs, and now they are doing well, I just want to let them know there is hope, seeing them work it out is the best reward."