QUEANBEYAN SES volunteer Mitchell Clout sounded a little bit embarrassed to be named winner of the NSW SES local young volunteer of the year.
"There are so many young people across New South Wales doing incredible things so to be the one picked is quite surprising but humbling too," he said.
Mr Clout, 22, has been a volunteer with the Queanbeyan SES Unit for the past three and half years.
"I had a particular interest in being part of the vertical rescue team, they get called out to the jobs that require you to scale heights and depths like cliffs and caves," he said.
"I found the training really interesting and challenging. I haven't had to use it yet unfortunately ... or fortunately."
Working full-time as a public servant and studying part-time, Mr Clout said it can be difficult to balance all his commitments with his voluntary work.
SES training is held every Monday and extra sessions are often held on the weekend. Mr Clout also helps run outdoor education camps at his former high school.
"It certainly can be challenging but it's rewarding so you're happy to take time out of your work day or social life for volunteering activities," he said.
"I've had to miss family activities and friends' birthday parties because I've been doing something with the SES. But my friends and family are really supportive and appreciate that I'm doing something to help the community.
"We do a bit of everything you could be on the roof of someone's house helping them chainsaw a tree branch or ... picking up someone's lost dog. During the 2010 Queanbeyan floods we helped sort through someone's water damaged possessions, they were just destroyed. That was a really intense job."
Mr Clout acts as the media officer for the Queanbeyan SES Unit dealing with inquiries from news outlets across Australia. He was first put to task just months after being put in the role when the 2010 floods hit town.
"In a big event like a flood it's really busy and you're getting calls from all across Australia from the larger national new networks to the local paper. It's overwhelming being interviewed but you learn as you go," he said.
Mr Clout said joining the Queanbeyan SES Unit has afforded him many opportunities.
"Since joining the SES I have gained so many skills, friends and had the chance to travel across the state. I know it sounds cliche but it's a great feeling to give back to the community," he said.
"The SES is like one big family, when you're training or deployed to jobs you run into so many different people from other units and make friends along the way."