For Yvonne Boyes, the recognition of her many years and contributions towards health in her community has left her "flabbergasted".
Boyes' many years of service have been acknowledged in the New Year Honours today as she was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for her services to health, particularly nursing and cancer treatment.
She said she was flabbergasted when she found out she was being awarded the QSM.
It was a privilege and she was proud to have supported people and families in their cancer journeys, she said.
"Supporting people and families on their cancer journeys in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has given me an immense amount of job satisfaction."
She said one of the many highlights for her had been the fundraising journey for the Project Hope Cancer Treatment Centre.
"We had fundraisers over three years to raise $1.5 million. To be a part of that was immensely humbling and I'm very proud to be a part of our Eastern Bay of Plenty community.
"Many people came up to me and said they helped fundraise, and now have family members being treated there."
Boyes was a trustee of the Child Cancer Foundation from 1989 to 1992, Paediatric and Adult Oncology from 1989 to 2001, and is a current member of the Bay of Plenty Child Health Trust.
She was an oncology nurse and was the director of nursing at Waipuna Hospice from 2004 to 2007 and Ngati Awa Health Clinical Lead from 2007 to 2009.
She joined Project Hope Fundraising committee in 2005 and became deputy chairwoman.
She oversaw the completion of the Project Hope Cancer Treatment Centre building in 2008, which facilitated treatment in Whakatane without needing to travel for treatment to Hamilton or Tauranga.
She was appointed to the Cancer Control Council from 2005 to 2007. She was a Primary Nurse Educator for the Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance from 2009 to 2015.
Boyes was also instrumental in developing the Rural Health lnterprofessional Programme in the Eastern Bay of Plenty from 2015 and is the academic co-ordinator.
She has been a student nurse mentor and educator. Boyes said it was wonderful to see the next generation of health professionals growing and learning.
As a member of the Bay Health Foundation from 2004 to 2008, she was involved in fundraising for the Renal Centre in Tauranga.
Boyes was a member of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board from 2001 to 2019.
She said there were many moments in her nursing career that had been highlights, and she had been given many opportunities which shaped her into the person she was today.
She also thanked her family, friends and the community for their support and being with her along the way.