Associate Professor Dr Kelvin Kong has been named Newcastle's 2021 Citizen of the Year.
Dr Kong, Australia's first recognised Indigenous surgeon, was presented with the award at a ceremony in Newcastle West on Wednesday.
A renowned surgeon based in Broadmeadow, Dr Kong also researches Alloiococcus otitidis - an organism prevalent in ear disease - with the Hunter Medical Research Institute.
He also lectures at the University of Newcastle.
Dr Kong has spent much of his career working in remote communities, and is passionate about addressing the disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
The Worimi man said he was elated to receive the Citizen of the Year award.
"Indigenous people have been practicing medicine in this country for 60,000 years, a history I am proud to be part of and carry on for future generations," Dr Kong said.
"I am both humbled and galvanised by this prestigious award, to continue striving towards improved ear health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children."
Professional netballer Samantha Poolman was named Newcastle's Young Citizen of the Year.
Poolman, of Rankin Park, was recognised for her contributions to women and girls in sport, representing Newcastle in the GIANTS Netball team.
She is also an ambassador for the Confident Girls Foundation.
Carrington Bowling Club CEO Jaci Lappin was named Senior Citizen of the Year for her dedication to providing a safe, inclusive space for the community to gather, enriching the City's vibrant social tapestry through a range of community activities.
More to come.