New South Wales Young Volunteer of the Year Award recipient for the Orana region Joseph McDonnell-Amatto said the acknowledgement 'means a lot' to him.
"I was actually quite shocked, I had no words to explain how I actually felt at the time," he said.
"To be recognised, it was astonishing to be honest."
Mr McDonnell-Amatto said he didn't seen it coming.
"I thought it was just one of those; well, see who wins and we'll go from there, but I didn't think I'd be the one winning," he said.
"It was amazing."
Mr McDonnell-Amatto volunteers for the Dubbo City SES unit, and has been a volunteer for about five-years now.
At 20, he was one of the states youngest SES Deputy Unit Commanders.
He unfortunately had to step down from the role in recent times due to an increase in work.
Now the 21-year-old is not only on call as an SES volunteer 24-7, but also juggles two jobs and SES training one day a week, as well as making time for his 'mates' when he can.
"I get asked how I do it a lot, and I don't really know, it's just, if I have time, I have time, if I don't, I don't," he said.
"I try and hang out with my mates in my spare time when I can but I am pretty busy at the moment, but it is what it is I guess.
"I've always wanted to help people where I can and sort of try and make a difference in people's lives, where I can, and I've always loved emergency services as a kid so that sort of drove me to join."
Mr McDonnell-Amatto said his five years as a volunteer has shaped him into the person he is today and has provided him with a number of valuable life skills.
"I was sitting down with my mum the other day and we were looking back at my schooling days and I never thought I'd be where I am today," he said.
"I hope it drives a lot more younger kids to want to be where I'm at, at the moment.
"I hope to be a bit of a role model to someone at least."
Mr McDonnell-Amatto is encouraging others to also consider volunteering.
"We are looking for members at the moment, we're not looking for a particular age, we're obviously not gonna make an 80-year-old person get on the roof or anything, but there's always a job for people to do."
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