THE annual Citizen of the Year award, presented on Australia Day, is one of the most prestigious forms of recognition around the region.
The award is traditionally presented to a citizen who has selflessly served the community, nominated by peers and chosen by council.
For anybody who knows Ian Tuppack, it will come as no surprise that the former fire captain has been named the Dalby and District Citizen of the Year.
With years of dedication to the community under his belt, it is difficult to imagine a more deserving or humble winner.
Mr Tuppack, who will be presented with the award at the Australia Day Celebrations on Thursday, said he had received the news from Western Downs Regional Council just before Christmas.
"My family is pretty chuffed,” he said.
"I want to thank my wife Jen and my two boys Ben and Nick for all of their support over the years, when I wasn't home or getting up at all hours of the night.
"You really don't go looking for an award like this... I tried to discourage it when I got a whisper it was on because you don't do things for a gong or anything like that.”
To many people, doing community work and serving an organisation such as the Fire Service is an impressive task, but to Mr Tuppack, it is 'there to be done''.
"There are lots of organisations that need a helping hand,” he said.
"The generation I grew up in, I think I was taught if you have time to do something you go and help out.
"You end up with nothing if you don't help out; things fade away and you end up with organisations gone and another hole in the community.”
Mayor Paul McVeigh, who has known Mr Tuppack since their primary school days in Jimbour, described him as a quiet achiever.
"He's like an unsung hero,” Cr McVeigh said.
"He's always been a person who has been involved, his commitment to the fire service was second to none but he never sought accolades.
"He was nominated through the community and the whole council was involved in the process; it's a hard decision to make.”
The awards will be presented as part of the Australia Day Service at the Dalby Showgrounds. The morning will kick off with breakfast from 7am, followed by the citizenship ceremony from 9am and the awards at 10am.
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