Velma Walker is no stranger when it comes to winning awards but her latest recognition makes her bubble with pride.
The Shoalhaven based Rural Fire Service (RFS) stalwart was recently named one of the local Queen's Birthday award winners.
Mrs Walker, or just Vel to her many friends, was one of eight NSW RFS recipients of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
She said it was a great honour to receive the award.
"This one is definitely going on the wall," she said.
Vel said the Australian Fire Service Medal was something she would treasure.
"It's definitely an honour and something I will never get again," she said.
The medal is a pinnacle achievement for a RFS volunteer. She is looking forward to going down to Government House to accept the award later on in the year.
"This one is definitely going on the wall.Velma Walker
Vel also rated the two phone calls on Monday she received almost as highly as getting the award.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers both called to congratulate the award winner.
Vel said she appreciated the calls but said she's just a humble volunteer doing something she enjoys.
"I don't volunteer to receive awards. I have been a RFS volunteer for 29 years and the RFS is like part of my family," she said.
Vel urged other people in the Shoalhaven to become a volunteer, saying it's a rewarding experience.
She also was named the Local Woman of the Year award for South Coast in 2017.
Mrs Walker is often the person on the end of the phone when people call the Shoalhaven Emergency Service for advice or information. She is always helpful with advice on all matters when it comes to vital bushfire information.
Her list of achievements is impressive.
She commenced her service with the Huskisson Brigade in 1990 and was made a life member in 2000.
She has volunteered her time, skills and experience to the District Office, assisting staff with various tasks, requests and clerical administrative duties and her dedication and commitment are of the highest calibre.
Vel has been deployed on numerous major bushfires in the area and other emergency response incidents where she has fulfilled the role of logistical officer in incident management teams. She displays the highest standard of professionalism at all times and her enthusiasm is renowned amongst staff and volunteers alike.
The award winner also works tirelessly promoting the reputation and image of the NSW RFS and is involved in a range of community engagement initiatives through her membership of the Community Engagement and Shoalhaven Catering teams.
A sentence from the RFS sums up the high regard the organisation has for their valued volunteer.
"Vel Walker's work ethic is an inspiration to all members of the service, she is held in the highest regard by colleagues and members of the community for her efforts, and she continues to provide distinguished service to the community of NSW," the statement reads.
Vel had also volunteered for Huskisson CWA and Albatross Musical Theatre Company.