Community heroes young and young at heart were the toast of the town at Melton’s Australia Day celebrations.

Maureen Mohr was named the municipality’s Citizen of the Year last Saturday at the Community Achievement Awards ceremony alongside five other standout community leaders.

Ms Mohr was rewarded for her willingness to “step in where needed”, whether to help women escape domestic violence or volunteer at the Melton Botanic Garden.

“I’m a volunteer, I’m an aging well ambassador among a number of other roles,” Ms Mohr said.

“I feel very humbled about the whole thing … I think that everybody needs help at some time and I have a very understanding husband who supports me when I bring home boxes of things that need to be sorted and distributed to different organisations and charity causes.”

Ms Mohr is a member of the Nordic walking group and volunteers at breakfast clubs at churches and schools and is on various Melton council arts and cultural committees.

At the weekend’s ceremony, joint Young Citizen of the Year awards went to Brandon Rogers and Emily Attard.

Brandon was awarded for his leadership role at the Western Bulldogs, his passion for family violence prevention and mentoring youth, while Emily developed and runs Specialist Hoops Basketball Melton, a weekly basketball program for people with a disability from low income families.

Among the other recipients were Gender Equity Leader of the Year Tiff Lykke, who aims to smash gender stereotypes at the Melton Wolves Gridiron Club; and Access and Inclusion Leader of the Year Shalini Kumar, who advocates for inclusion across the community.

Intercultural Engagement Leader of the Year was Belinda Marshall who has set up links between students in Cambodia and Coburn Primary to raise awareness about poverty, education availability, recycling and diversity in other countries.

Melton mayor Bob Turner said the Community Achievement Awards recognised the invaluable contribution made to the local community by individuals across a range of categories.