The priest of a Greek Orthodox church in Newcastle has been named the city's recipient of the 2019 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Award.
Father Nicolaos Zervas of St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Hamilton, received the honour on Thursday.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said the award recognised the 85-year-old's decades of service in the city.
“Father Zervas is an absolute blessing to the Newcastle community," Mr Crakanthorp said.
"He must be the lifeblood of volunteering in Newcastle!”
The priest has volunteered at many organisations in the city for over 40 years. In 1993 he received an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the community.
Father Zervas has given time to Meals on Wheels, Northern Settlement Services, Ethnic Communities Council and Lifeline. He has taught scripture at many local schools, is a founding member of Greek Day Care and is a life member of Hippocrates Aged Care, Fronditha Aged Care Nursing Home and Hamilton Olympic Soccer Club.
He also spends two days of his week visiting people in hospitals and nursing homes.
Father Zervas said being able to assist others gave him "strength".
"All my life I have believed I have to help people. Out there, there are a lot of people who need help," Father Zervas said.
The annual senior achievement awards are run by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care.
They celebrate achievements in a range of categories, including business, environment, science, agriculture, health, learning and community service.