A woman formerly from South Wairarapa has been recognised for her contribution to the management of Australian bushfires.
Prue Daley, now living in Ballarat, was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for her 22 years service to Parks Victoria, a state government outfit, where she is a public information officer.
She has been involved in numerous incident management teams for major bushfires, including the recent Wye River fire.
Her mother Jennie Smith, from Greytown, contacted the Times-Age to share the news, which was included in Tuesday's Australia Day Honours list.
"I'm very proud. She's a very bubbly person who loves people. Her job is very demanding at times and very tiring with long hours."
Ms Smith said part of her daughter's role was to address people who had been evacuated from their homes as a result of a bushfire.
"She tells them what's going on. She can't really reassure people but she tells them where the dangers are and how to cope."
Mrs Daley was born in Martinborough and later moved to Featherston, where she went to Featherston School before attending St Matthew's College.
She left for Australia more than 30 years ago when she was just 20 years old.
Of 10 Victorian emergency service workers, Mrs Daley was the only woman to receive the award.
"She has been instrumental in improving bushfire awareness and preparedness and facilitating the rapid recovery of communities through her strong links with the tourism industry," Parks Victoria chief executive Bradley Fauteux said.
"Her leadership and collaborative approach with the Grampians National Park and tourism industry has ensured the region is in a much stronger position to respond to the impacts of bushfire and implement plans for recovery."
Mrs Daley returns to Wairarapa at least once a year to visit family. She has three brothers, one of whom remains in Wairarapa as a farmer in Featherston.
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