Barrister Daryl Williams QC is used to arguing a case. But when it came to being honoured with an AM, he said he was left speechless.
Based in Melbourne, Mr Williams was made a member of the general division, recognised for "significant service to the legal profession, to the community, and to cancer research"
Outside of his work as a barrister, he is a board director of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and its fundraising foundation.
Growing up in Launceston, Mr Williams said he learnt a lot about giving back from his parents Harold and Cecilia Williams, who used to run a gift shop at Quadrant Mall.
AUSTRALIA DAY 2021 IN NORTHERN TASMANIA:
"It is lovely to receive an award, but that is not why you contribute to community organisations and causes," he said.
"My parents brought me up, by their example, to believe that volunteering time to worthy causes is just a natural part of life. It is also enjoyable and rewarding in itself.
"That said, the recognition is still welcome, and I must admit that I have enjoyed spending Australia Day receiving warm wishes from many kind people."
Mr Williams left Launceston in 1982 to study law and commerce at Melbourne University.
Though he hasn't lived in Tasmania since the '80s, he said he had been gifted a wonderful childhood, including an education that paved the way for a successful career.
He attended St Leonards and then later East Launceston Primary School.
He was also a member of Launceston United Soccer Club and North Esk Rowing Clubs.
Moving on to Scotch Oakburn College, it was here that he developed a taste for debating - something he said inevitably influenced his decision to become a barrister.
"I think it was debating that got me interested. I represented Tasmania in the National Schools Debating Championships in 1978, 1979, and 1980," he said.
"I was captain in 1980, and happily we went undefeated and won the final - in the 50-plus years of the completion so far, I understand this is the only time Tassie has ever won."
On receiving AM, Mr Williams said he felt honoured to have recognised and said he still considered himself a proud Tasmanian and "Launcestonian".