Nursing, teaching, the arts, farming, history, veterans welfare and even the circus are all fields of endeavour for this year's Australia Day honours recipients.
Many of them expressed surprise, even disbelief, at being recognised, but no one reading their achievements could doubt the commitment shown over many years of service.
Alana Johnson AM
Altering the belief farmers were only ever male has been the work of decades for Benalla's Alana Johnson.
Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to women through leadership and advisory roles, Ms Johnson said back in the 1970s few acknowledged women's work in the agricultural sector.
"Everybody thought that a farmer was the man," she said.
"Women couldn't have their own superannuation because they were considered farmers' wives and therefore not productive."
During that era of free university education, young rural women returned home after tertiary study "with a very different perception of what they wanted for their lives".
Ms Johnson, who grew up in Hamilton and moved to Benalla in 1981, helped form advocacy groups such as the Victorian Rural Women's Network and Australian Women In Agriculture in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The present chair of the Victorian Women's Trust and a director since 1998, she also contributes to bodies such as the Victorian Ministerial Council for Women's Equality, Deputy Chair, Victorian Catchment Management Council (deputy chair) and Goulburn Murray Water (director) and is a past president and founding member of North East political group Voices for Indi.
"The establishment of the Rural Women's Network was the first sort of coming together and women having a united voice around what changes they wanted to see happen," she said.
"Change has been slow but it's been progressive and at last now we're seeing equal numbers of women around our board tables and in decision making.
"We still have a way to go in some areas but certainly the opportunities that young women have today are only something that we could have wished for back in my time."
Janine Sargeant AM
Links to Albury remain strong for Janine Sargeant, appointed as a Member of the Order Of Australia for significant service to medical administration through a range of roles.
The Sydney resident grew up in Albury, attending Lavington Public School and Albury North High School (now James Fallon), and her mother Iris and extended family members still live on the Border.
Her career began almost by chance when she managed specialist medical groups for the Australian Medical Association in 1979.
"It was one of those things where you look in the paper and think 'What can I apply for as a job?'," she said.
Developing skills and contacts in the industry, her first position led to others with organisations such as Australian Pharmacy Research Centre, Australian Association of Private Radiation Oncology Practices and Australian Association of Consultant Physicians, as well as consulting in the sector.
She finished her role as chief executive of the Australasian Association of Nuclear Medicine Specialists in December and now hopes to give more time to charity projects.
Ms Sargeant said introducing changes when dealing with boards, committees and governments could be "like turning around a battleship".
"It's kind of understanding what's doable and what's not and what the time frames might be," she said.
"That's the way you can help people to achieve things."
The administrator felt humbled to have been singled out for an honour.
"Particularly after the fires, you think there's so many more people who must deserve this much more than me," she said.
That's a message I'd like to get across, to really turn up in your life and not just live it by roteMargaret Aldous
Margaret Aldous OAM
Margaret Aldous, of Benalla, always wanted to be a nurse as a little girl and began her training at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital in 1972.
Recently retired some 48 years later, her service to nursing has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.
"It was a very physically demanding job but I loved the work," she said.
"I love the work and the comradeship that went with it, the team spirit that always goes with nursing."
Ms Aldous also trained as a midwife and filled many roles at Benalla Hospital for more than 30 years, including in midwifery, palliative care and accident and emergency.
She provided the first palliative care education service to hospital and medical staff, worked as a grief counsellor and mentored junior staff.
From 2008 she was chief executive/director of nursing at Cooinda Village aged care facility.
Ms Aldous aimed to embrace every area of nursing she worked in.
"I have in my career and in my life tried to be present wherever I've been," she said.
"I've tried to live my life very mindfully.
"That's a message I'd like to get across, to really turn up in your life and not just live it by rote."
Diana Alexander OAM
For well over half a century, Lockhart's Diana Alexander has been guiding and creating opportunities for country students.
Her first position as Lockhart Central School infants teacher in 1963 saw her leading a class of 45 young pupils thanks to continuous enrolment through the year.
Later jobs have included music teacher at Kooringal High School (1986-1992), Lockhart Central School assistant principal (1992-2002) and various regional arts co-ordinator roles supporting public schools.
Awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to education and to the community of Lockhart, Mrs Alexander said she felt "very privileged and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing".
"I've loved education, I've loved every minute of it," she said.
"I really accept it on behalf of the people that I've worked with, the teachers, the schools and the parents that I've worked with in making the best for the students and their future."
Mrs Alexander, who also performed on stage and won the first Riverina Country Woman of the Year Award in 1974, praised the work of teachers in Albury, Wagga and throughout the Riverina as their projects helped the students develop their problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration.
"I'm working with the best of the best, it's just a thrill to see the success of the students," she said.
"They're still developing lifelong skills and that's the joy of what I do too."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Leonard Barlow OAM
A man who helped establish a Border veterans group in the 1990s has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.
Leonard Barlow, now living in Melbourne, co-chaired the steering committee that led to the Corowa/Rutherglen sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia in 1995.
Mr Barlow served as the fledgling group's inaugural president until 1997 and then its secretary until 1999 when he left the region.
A life member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia's Victorian branch, he has served two stints as secretary of the state group as well as assistant secretary and since 2002 the web administrator.
Between 1996 and 2002 Mr Barlow was pensions and welfare officer for the Victorian sub-branches.
Colin Darts OAM
Since 1974, the welfare of veterans and their families has been a key concern for Albury's Colin Darts, reflected in his Order of Australia Medal.
Joining the Legacy Club of Albury in 2002, Mr Darts became president between 2014 and 2016 and also took on the roles of junior and senior vice-president and state finance representative. He remains part of the appeals and fundraising sub-committee.
Each year he encourages the community to support the annual Legacy appeal and raise money for the spouses and children of service personnel who had died.
An Albury RSL member, Mr Darts has served as president (2010-2012) and vice-president while as a founding member of the Murray Border Association Vietnam Veterans he filled the positions of president, secretary and treasurer at various times.
His community involvement includes Table Top Rural Fire Brigade, where he was deputy captain for nine years, Morgan Country Car Club and serving as a Justice of the Peace.
Anni Davey OAM
Through "coy text messages", Flying Fruit Fly Circus artistic director Anni Davey learned her identical twin sister, Maude, would also be awarded an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day.
"I feel less like an imposter given that it's both of us," she laughed.
Acknowledged for service to circus performance and physical theatre, Ms Davey said she loved the accessibility and authenticity of her craft.
"It's like it's magic, you know, it makes the impossible seem entirely achievable," she said.
Seeing Circus Oz decided her career direction and she has been connected to the company for more than 30 years as a performer, director, operations manager and technical co-ordinator when its new building was constructed in Collingwood.
Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association chair between 2010 and 2017, Ms Davey has also been a Melbourne Fringe Festival board member for a decade.
She has a long list of directing and performing credits and has co-hosted the Annual Green Room Awards.
Ms Davey joined Albury-Wodonga's Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 2018 "which feels like a full circle".
"Although I was never a Fruit Fly, Circus Oz has had such a significant relationship with Fruit Flies for all of these years," she said.
"It feels great to be in a place where you can have an effect on emerging circus artists."
While proud of last year's 40th anniversary show, the artistic director prefers to consider the future.
"I try not to look back too much, I'm interested in what's happening next," she said.
Carly Findlay OAM
Walla-raised writer Carly Findlay's work in increasing awareness of disability has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.
A blogger, speaker and appearance activist, Ms Findlay released her memoir Say Hello last year and is editing Growing Up Disabled In Australia, due for release in June.
She regularly appears on radio and television programs such as ABC's You Can't Ask That, co-hosts a podcast and has been the Melbourne Fringe Festival access and inclusion co-ordinator since 2017.
Her previous awards include being named one of Australia's most influential women in 2014 by Australian Financial Review.
"Leading an active, fulfilled and successful life when people stare, comment and ridicule is an act of defiance," she wrote in Say Hello.
"I have the courage to look the world in the eye when the world sometimes looks away, or looks too much."
Noel Jackling OAM
Uiver historian Noel Jackling views his Order of Australia Medal for service to community history as further endorsement of the aviation story's importance.
The lawyer and author has spent many years promoting, researching and collecting artefacts associated with the 1934 emergency landing in Albury of the KLM airliner.
Mr Jackling first learned of the Uiver while the lawyer for Arthur Newnham, the 2CO Radio announcer who interrupted programming to urge people to take their cars to the racecourse to create a makeshift landing strip.
"I guess what was intriguing to me was that Arthur Newnham himself knew that he was placing his own job on the line," the historian said.
"Not only was he breaching the radio rules of breaking in on the radio broadcast on relay, if all this went sour and the Uiver crashed on the racecourse, he would probably lose his job.
"He did get admonished by the state manager of ABC, that was before the Uiver had landed.
"Of course when it had landed safely and everyone thought this was wonderful, the plane had been saved, that was the last he ever heard of any forms of admonition."
Mr Jackling said the uniqueness of the risky landing continued to appeal to him.
"The process of research and improving the collection at Albury Library Museum and in an ongoing sense telling the story of the Uiver has became part of who I am and that will continue," he said.
Elizabeth Mourik OAM
Over the past 40 years, hundreds of people have benefited from Elizabeth Mourik's love of teaching.
"I like teaching anything, even teaching knitting to my grandchildren," she said with a laugh.
Mrs Mourik's commitment to education and to the community led to her Medal of the Order of Australia.
After arriving on the Border in the late 1970s, she was surprised to realise some adults couldn't read and so tried to help them, later starting an innovative literacy radio program using the then Border Morning Mail.
She became Albury TAFE's first language, literacy and numeracy teacher, helping young men in trades, and over the years built up a department of six full-time and more than 20 part-time staff.
"When you think about it, language, literacy and numeracy is everything that is needed for everything," she said.
"Every course, your life, getting a job."
A parallel interest has been public speaking, with Mrs Mourik a founding member of Albury-Wodonga Toastmasters and overseeing five regional clubs.
"Most people are very scared or timid about speaking in public," she said.
"You do learn not to be scared, you really do, it just happens.
"One day you think 'Oh, that was quite easy' and that's what you try and teach other people."
In 2018 Mrs Mourik received the Distinguished Toastmasters Award, earned by only 3 per cent of the world's 500,000 Toastmasters.
The same year, she was the keynote speaker at the Australian Rehabilitation Nurses Association annual conference, talking about her recovery from a 2015 snake bite that required her to learn again how to speak, read and write.