A New England councillor who has dedicated almost 25 consecutive years of service to her community has been recognised.
Di Baker received a 20 Plus Year Service Award at the Local Government NSW conference in Sydney.
She was flanked by Inverell mayor Paul Harmon and deputy mayor Kate Dight at the ceremony.
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Ms Baker has been a councillor at Inverell since 1999.
"I was first elected last century," she said.
"It's very nice to be recognised and to have Paul and Kate there, too.," she said.
"The certificate has all the different committees and things I've been a part of.
"I didn't really expect anything like that, so it was really lovely.
"It's 25 years for me next year which will be a nice little milestone."
Ms Baker graduated from the University of New England in 2014 with a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning.
She is on a joint regional planning panel for the New England region with new council general manager Brett McInnes.
The planning panel is responsible for larger scale projects which cost more than $5 million.
One of the main assessments she has been part of recently is the $25 million upgrade at the Inverell Aquatic Centre and police station upgrade in 2021.
"I really enjoy being on council and it's rewarding when you see improvements being made around the shire," she said.
"You feel like you're adding to the economy and working to improve the lives of people living in the region."
"We have a strong team and that will continue with our new general manager."
Ms Baker said infrastructure and medical support are the biggest challenges in Inverell.
"I do think we need more doctors and affordable housing," she said.
"We also need more people in the town.
"No one should be out of a job at the moment because nearly every business I speak to is looking to hire.
"Inverell can really thrive being in a central location regionally with a nice climate and beautiful people
"It all works when you have a strong community and a very strong council."
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