Firefighters have been at the forefront of all Australians' minds for months, and now a firefighter has been named Wollondilly Citizen of the Year.
Barbara Jolley, a member of the Silverdale Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade, received the honour at this morning's Wollondilly Australia Day ceremony held at the Picton Botanical Gardens.
Ms Jolley has been a member of the RFS since 2002, representing the Silverdale brigade as president, treasurer, deputy captain and finally captain in 2011.
Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth congratulated her for the well-deserved recognition.
"I would like to congratulate Barbara Jolley for this fantastic achievement and her commitment to the communities of Silverdale and Warragamba and throughout the shire," he said.
"Her commitment to the Silverdale Rural Fire Brigade and great sense of community spirit and dedication will have a lasting benefit for the community."
Ms Jolley is dedicated to promoting bushfire awareness and recently helped organise crews, trucks and equipment to fight the Green Wattle Creek blaze.
She is also a resource organiser of Warragamba's annual Damfest event and spends time manning the brigade's community engagement stall.
Ms Jolley was the first female member of the Southern Highlands Remote Area Firefighting team (RAFT) and is qualified in Helicopter Insertion Techniques (winching in and out of remote locations), despite her fear of heights.
The year's other award winners were Mali Dillon (young citizen of the year), Jay Seeney (achiever of the year), Shane Taylor (sportsperson of the year), Ron Bolton (local hero/community group of the year) and Buxton Community Graden (environmental citizen of the year).