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Services to Girl Guides, suicide prevention, music, sports, local government and justice - along with many fields of endeavour - were acknowledged with medals and words of thanks.
Accepting her award for 41 years' involvement in Girl Guides, Dunedin woman Lynne Ray said the young women involved with organisation today were leaders of the future.
``We are growing quite rapidly at the moment. We are modern, moving forward, and we have a big emphasis on young women and leadership,'' she said.
Last night's youngest award recipient, 17-year-old James Sutherland, showed youth was no barrier to community involvement. His work in youth organisations and the Central Otago Youth Council was applauded.
``There seemed to be a need for young people to have a voice in decisions made by local councillors,'' he said.
For one award recipient, Dunedin JP Ngaire Duke, the awards ceremony came too late as the long-serving JP and Citizens Advice Bureau manager died in September.
Her family accepted the award on her behalf.
Recipients were: Emily Boud (Alexandra), youth and local organisations; Denis Cronin (Alexandra), Keep Alexandra Beautiful, golf; Douglas Dance (Roxburgh), St John, local government, the arts; Ngaire Duke (Dunedin), justice, Community Advice Bureau; Lesley Elliott (Dunedin), Sophie Elliott Foundation; Judy Elliott Hall (Alexandra), numerous community committees; Carol Haig (Clyde), varied local committees; Stuart Hore (Naseby), governance and sporting committees; Gloria Hurst (Papakaio), founder of Waitaki Community Gardens Trust; Heather McPherson (Cromwell), arts events, Cromwell Wine and Food Festival; Gordon Martin (Waitaki), sport, justice, Fire Service; Sonya Palmer (Lake Hawea), youth organisations; Rod Peirce (Roxburgh), local government, Clutha Gold Trail; Lynne Ray (Dunedin) Girl Guides; Valerie Smith (Ranfurly), Bible In Schools, local charities; Jane Stalker (Wanaka), Wanaka A&P Show; James Sutherland (Alexandra), youth organisations.