A "humbled" Nikki Row has been named the 2023 Mount Isa Citizen of the Year for her efforts as a volunteer at Mount Isa Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC).
Ms Row was awarded the honour this morning at the Mount Isa Australia Day Awards ceremony alongside a host of other award recipients at the Civic Centre.
Other winners included Sophie Greenhalgh for Young Citizen of the Year, Peter Roberts for Senior Citizen of the Year, Kodie Kuskopf for the Senior Sports Award, Aaliyah Poihipi for the Junior Sports Award, and Ian Brown for the Legend of Mount Isa.
Five people were presented with the Spirit of Mount Isa Award, including Sue Wilson, Ranita and Tony Toholke, Nadia Cowperthwaite, and Charlotte Byrnes, while the volunteers of the Mount Isa Underground Hospital and Museum received the Arts and Culture Award and the Mailman Express won Community Event of the Year.
Ms Row told the North West Star she was "surprised" to be named Citizen of the Year.
"I'm very humbled by and I wasn't expecting it," she said.
"I think there's so many deserving people in our community who would equally be deserving of this award."
Ms Rose is the longest serving volunteer at the Mount Isa PCYC, having been there helping for 10 years.
In that time she has invested her efforts in to a range of fundraisers and events to promote community engagement, and build the PCYC commercial gym into one of the most professional facilities in the city.
She credits a serious health scare, which happened almost 13 years ago, for prompting her to begin volunteering.
"I have a range of health issues and it was just another one that added to the list," she said.
"So, it's pushed me to keep going ... I don't let anything hold me back.
"My health and fitness is important which is what led me to go to PCYC.
"Then I was able to give back to others in the same way that being fit and healthy had given me energy and drive."
She also donates her time to a range of other initiatives, including the Mount Isa Harley Owners Group's annual Christmas Toy Run and the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.
Mayor Danielle Slade praised Ms Rose, who is now a fully qualified personal trainer, labelling her an outstanding and dedicated volunteer.
"She freely shares her personal experience with others, to motivate and inspire them towards achieving their own personal fitness and wellness goals," Cr Slade said.
"Nikki is truly an inspiration to everyone she encounters and has continuously demonstrated her passion and dedication to the Mount Isa community."
For Ms Row, it's the people of Mount Isa, she said, which form "the fabric that makes up the community".
"I love living here, there's so many good people," she said.
"We do hear a lot at the moment about the negative things that are happening through crime, but Mount Isa is far more than that.
"The people, the sense of community, people come together to help each other out ... that's what's important to me."
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