Retired paramedic Michelle Shiel of Bligh Park has received an Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) from the Governor General's department for her work spanning 33 years with NSW Ambulance.
The ASM title was bestowed on Ms Shiel as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours in the Meritorious Service Awards class, which recognise individuals who have served in occupations that provide services for the community, particularly in times of emergency or disaster.
The ASM recognises distinguished service as a member of an Australian ambulance service.
Ms Shiel said she was "very honoured" to receive the ASM.
"I retired a couple of months ago - what a way to end a career."
Ms Shiel described her career with NSW Ambulance as "fantastic".
"For almost 33 years I had a lot of opportunities to develop myself along the way, and it was a fantastic career - I recommend it to anybody."
Ms Shiel commenced with NSW Ambulance as a paramedic at Richmond in 1988, coming from a palliative care nursing background. She served as a frontline operational staff member until 1998, before working in operational management positions at Penrith and Rozelle.
She contributed to the operational responses of NSW Ambulance during the 2019-2020 bushfires.
Building on her clinical leadership skills, she transitioned into sector management working within a logistics, rostering and deployment role. She excelled in state wide clinical leadership roles including Extended Care Paramedic Program Manager and Manager and Director Models of Care.
She was recognised for being instrumental in shaping the current and future delivery of health care by paramedics, particularly in the area of out-of-hospital care.
She was pivotal to the NSW Ambulance Authorised Palliative Care Plan Program which supports paramedic decision-making in meeting the needs of patients with specific medical conditions, as well as respecting agreed palliative and end-life wishes.
She developed the business case that supported the establishment of a dedicated Coordinator, Palliative and End of Life Care. This role enables paramedics to provide informed, individualised and an integrated approach to requests for assistance for palliative and end of life care patients and their carers.