JUST being nominated was a complete surprise for 2013 Australia Day Citizen of the Year Peter McGlinchey and Young Citizen of the Year Kate Sinclair.
Mr McGlinchey, who was released from hospital to attend Thursday's ceremony, was recognised for his involvement in the Kiama Show Society movement since he was a "tiny tot", particularly during the past 57 years.
As a dairy farmer, the 83-year-old was involved in the Jamberoo Milk Factory, the South Coast and Tablelands Agricultural Union and the Junior Farmers Club.
His passion for horses led him to become an Olympic showjumping judge in 1953 and he was one of a select number of international judges of the Equestrian Federation Internationale.
He also helped to establish the Kiama Pony Club at Jerrara and after 15 years as chief instructor he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Medal for Australian Sporting Achievement.
Kate Sinclair's Young Citizen award comes as she faces her HSC year as Kiama High School captain.
"It's going to be difficult balancing school with the things I want to do, but it will improve my organisation," the 17-year-old said.
Kate has been a surf lifesaver with Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club for the past four years, and with indigenous heritage on her mother's side she has been a role model for younger indigenous students at school.
The honours were two of nine awards presented at The Pavilion.
Peter and Margaret Raison received the Australia Day Sports Award for the Kiama Surf Club's history book.
Robert Curll received the Australia Day community achievement award for his work with the Kiama Garden Club, the Illawarra Rose Society, the NSW and ACT Dahlia Society and scouts and cubs.
Bombo Landcare Group was honoured for its rehabilitation work at Bombo Headland.
The Community Arts Award went to Eevi Stein for her work with the Kiama Jazz Club and Kiama Tourism.
Keith Holland received an award for services to the aged for transporting other elderly people.
Kiama High School captain Jake Ashley received the Youth Achievement Award for his volunteer work in school and youth activities.
The Scholastic Achievement Award went to Maddison Dunster for her two years as dux of Kiama High School, in 2010 and 2011.