Former Parramatta councillor, Phillip Russo, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division.
The two-time deputy lord mayor said he was deeply moved and privileged to be recognised for his long service to local government and the community of Parramatta.
“It was a most unexpected and lovely surprise,” Mr Russo said.
Mr Russo, who is a life member of the Australian Labour Party, suspects he was nominated by former Parramatta lord mayor John Haynes and Bruce Gale, the former chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Advisory Committee.
Currently the president of the Doyle Ground Park Committee, Mr Russo said it is a sense of social justice that has motivated him to serve the Parramatta community for many years.
“I like to be involved with good people who work for a common cause and for the community,” he said.
Mr Russo also also acknowledged the ongoing support of his wife and four children.
“I couldn’t have done any of it without the total support of my wife Margaret and my family.”