Kerry Power finds it hard to believe she's spent six years campaigning for gender-diverse young people, and that for three of those years, Australia's first regional gender service has been operating in her community.
The Wodonga advocate has been recognised at the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards as a nominee in the diversity and inclusion category.
"We've come a long way and we've still got quite a way to go," she said.
"Word is getting out about the service.
"It was great to be acknowledged for what I've done over those years and wonderful to see so many people in regional communities doing amazing work."
Gateway Health's Gender Service for trans and gender-diverse young people aged 17 and under, and their families, opened in March 2017, four years after the idea was first floated.
Ms Power has been involved in a community reference group guiding the service, which has grown from 16 clients to more than 30.
WayOut Wodonga and Gender Service co-ordinator Sophie Rhys said the service received new inquiries daily, but also referrals from Royal Children's Hospital Gender Service, which works closely with Gateway.
"Our client numbers are growing and we've been able to change the model so that it's more of a wrap-around, holistic service," she said.
"Originally it was set up as a medical model in recognition of the difficulties for families here to go down to Melbourne.
"But it's matured into being something that's linking in with other programs at Gateway, and providing education for parents and transition support in schools.
"We're looking at the young person at the centre with their family, and supporting them in all of their different spaces.
"We're still learning and building on it, but we're on the right path."
An evaluation by The Centre of Excellence in Rural Sexual Health recommended getting funding for increased staffing, and expanding the service's reach to other ages.
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"We still need to find ongoing funding, but we're able to continue with immediate funding for the next two years," Ms Rhys said.
"Sustainability is what we're working towards."
The Regional Achievement and Community Awards were held on Friday and while the North East missed out in the nine categories of winners, there were hundreds of nominations.
Also attending the ceremony in Melbourne as a finalists in the Agricultural Innovation Award were representatives of the Mountain Milk Co-Operative, formed by six farming families in Kiewa Valley.