A passion for eradicating domestic violence has won Murray Bridge's Shawn Hicks an award as SA Police and the City of Adelaide Lions Club's citizen of the year.
It was Mr Hicks who established the white ribbon round observed by the River Murray Football League and Netball Association in recent years.
He has also helped police produce and distribute the "say no to domestic violence" beanies sold at local events, businesses, schools and government agencies in recent years.
His dedication stemmed not from having endured domestic violence himself, but from learning about it as a member of community group Murray Bridge Safe.
"I was blown over by the stats on domestic violence - I couldn't believe it," he said.
"I've got a great family, great support, grew up in a nice family culture, and I can't believe (so many) other people haven't been as lucky as I have.
"Home should be the safest place you have, but for some it's a nightmare."
Still, he was confident local efforts to teach children about respectful relationships would help reduce the incidence of violence in the long term.
The strong turnout at a White Ribbon Day event on Friday proved the issue was already getting more attention, he said.
He deflected any praise for his own part in that success.
"A lot of other people should be recognised as well," he said.
"It might only take one person to have an idea, but it takes a lot of people to make that idea successful."
SA Police Murray Mallee Superintendent James Blandford presented the award to Mr Hicks at police headquarters in Adelaide on Thursday.
He was also recognised for his membership of a working party organising a Good Neighbour Day barbecue at Jervois, an initiative of police, the Murray Bridge council, service clubs and residents.