AUSTRALIA DAY: Emma Aldrich takes out Albury Young Citizen of the Year Award

AN extension of her volunteer work at a remote community in Western Australia has helped Emma Aldrich clinch Albury's Young Citizen of the Year.

RISING STAR: Albury Young Citizen of the Year Emma Aldrich spent six months of her gap year working in remote Western Australia. Picture: MARK JESSER

RISING STAR: Albury Young Citizen of the Year Emma Aldrich spent six months of her gap year working in remote Western Australia. Picture: MARK JESSER

Ms Aldrich spent six months of her gap year in studies at the Kalumburu Catholic Mission at the northern most settlement in the state.

Her duties involved working in the local store and starting a youth centre.

“The experience was a real highlight of my year,” she said.

“I also did meals on wheels with the elders in the community.

“It was a different world up there, but a unique experience.”

She has previously travelled to Thailand to do volunteer work in orphanages and was presented with the Dame Marie Bashir Peace Award in Sydney for her work promoting social justice.

The dux of Xavier High School at the end of 2015, Ms Aldrich will begin a nursing degree at Charles Sturt University this year.

She was president of Xavier's St Vincent De Paul organisation.

“I'm overwhelmed and really grateful,” she said.

“It is such an honour and I really feel proud to be here today.”

Also in contention for Young Citizen of the Year were musician James Flores, youth council members Sonali Kagithala and Jaara Moran.

ROLE MODEL: Jaara Moran speaking at the Albury Australia Day ceremony after being presented with his Special youth award.

ROLE MODEL: Jaara Moran speaking at the Albury Australia Day ceremony after being presented with his Special youth award.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack presented a special award to Jaara Moran for helping to promote a positive representation of young Aboriginal people.

He did volunteer work for NAIDOC Day activities and is a key member of Albury Council's Aboriginal youth committee.

Moran is also the Albury electorate's NSW Aboriginal Student of the Year.

He was also selected in the NSW team following the All Schools AFL championships played in Sydney.

Cr Mack paid tribute to all winners and nominees.

“For every award recipient there are of course many others who are equally deserving,” he said.

“I'd like to congratulate all of this year's nominees and recipients who have gone above and beyond in the name of our city.”