BILL McDonald's history of providing financial support to Hunter charities and not-for-profit organisations has landed him a Medal of the Order of Australia.
The Brandy Hill resident was also recognised for providing long-term jobs and education through building industry cadetships to youth in the Hunter and Sydney.
Mr McDonald, who has been the managing director of well known building company McDonald Jones Homes since 1987, said he was "deeply humbled and grateful for this award".
"To be honest I'm still taking it in," he said.
"This is a huge honour and something I never expected.
"I am humbled to be in the company of these incredible people and I think my father would be so proud of me along with the rest of my family."
Mr McDonald launched the McDonald Jones Charitable Foundation in 2012.
One of its most prolific campaigns has been the Build for a Cure project.
A house is constructed by McDonald Jones Homes employees, and others, and sold to raise funds for the Children's Cancer Institute. Three homes have been built and sold since 2016.
Mr McDonald said of all his community involvements, Build for a Cure was what he was "most proud of".
"Cancer impacted me early in my life, my dad died when I was 15 and I didn't realise until later in life the gifts he had given me," he said.
"I know the pain of losing someone you love through cancer and if we can help end that, then that's a great thing."
The foundation has been involved in a range of other initiatives, including providing ongoing support for two PhD scholarships at the Victor Chang Foundation, and donations to the Mark Hughes Foundation, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Autism Spectrum Australia.
Mr McDonald has also previously been involved in fundraising for facilities at Maitland Hospital.
"I've always believed in life you have to give to succeed," Mr McDonald said.
"That ethos has forged strong relationships with suppliers who have grown with us during the ups and downs of business which in turn means they will support us when we want to help charities like with Build for a Cure."
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- Newcastle Freemason recognised for service
- 'Fire in the belly' drives Eliza plus Hunter's other AM winners
- Hunter historian Ed Tonks recognised with OAM
- OAM for Margot who says it's an honour
- Trevor put Morpeth on the map
- 'Polio tried to kill us and nothing else will': The force driving John and those like him