MINGYEU Chinese Buddhist Temple president James Chan has received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the Chinese community of greater western Sydney.
He was awarded the medal as part of the 2014 Queen's Birthday honours, which is the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service.
Mr Chan, who is also a member of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, said he was surprised and delighted to be recognised in this way.
"Firstly, I am very thankful for my family being there for me and for their support," he said.
"Sometimes when you want to do something [help the community] you have to give up something.
"I think this medal should really belong to my wife. When I go out and volunteer she is here running the restaurant and looking after my children."
Mr Chan moved to Australia in 1976.
He is a justice of the peace and chairman of the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society.
"This medal has encouraged me to keep going and work harder," Mr Chan said.
"This country is very lucky already and we need to just give some time back to the community because it is very important.
"I think we should help each other, but a lot of people they don't want to take the time. They only want to take and not to give."
He said many hands make light work. "I would like to encourage all of the young people to do something for their community. Not just to say later," Mr Chan said.
"I just do this because I feel it is my job and it is for love."