Darlington Point residents took shelter from the rain inside the Punt Hotel as they celebrated Australia Day on Tuesday.
Maria Teusner was named the town's Citizen of the Year for her efforts in helping kick start improvements to the Tiddalik Wetland.
Mrs Teusner helped arrange a number of working bees with residents making some improvements and improving the wetland by collecting rubbish and removing weeds.
The Tiddalik Wetland was originally created thanks to Centenary of Federation funding, although it has fallen into some disrepair.
Mrs Teusner said when she had originally arrived in Darlington Point, she would eventually go back to Queensland. That was 34 years ago.
Volunteering to improve the wetland was a way of supporting the community which had welcomed her, but said her efforts were only modest.
"I just like doing things and getting tings done," she said.
She said Tiddalik Wetland was an asset for the community which supported unique bio-diversity and for storm water management.
Keeping the wetland would be positive for the community, as well as potentially becoming an attraction for visitors.
Mrs Teusner said it was a delight to hear school students exploring the wetland after a number of the working bees had cleared some of the rubbish.
Australia Day ambassador Mark Warren was on hand to talk about the unique people that live in the Riverina.
The son of Ray Warren - the voice of rugby league - said the area's distance from the city was no barrier for those with talent, a bit of luck and a willingness to work hard.
Mr Warren said those working the land across the Riverina epitomised ideals of resilience, with the fruits of their labour made it around the country.
"Each of our award recipients has made our little part of the world a richer place. I thank them for this, as does their community," Murrumbidgee Council mayor Ruth McRae said.
DARLINGTON POINT'S AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS
- Citizen of the Year: Maria Teusner
- Junior Citizen of the Year: Dylan Goodsall
- Event/Group Achievement of the Year: Gavin and Tammy Gilbert, Riverina Redneck Rally