A fierce advocate for women's rights issues and one of the Port's most loved characters, Eileen Palmada, was this week awarded the prestigious Civilian Service Medal (1939-45).
The 94-year-old resident of Fingal Haven was recognised for her service in Australia during World War II, in arduous circumstances, in support of the war effort.
Together with her late husband, Joe, Ms Palmada was very much involved in a wide range of environmental and social issues.
She had a background in bookkeeping and the Union Movement and was not afraid to voice her own firm opinions in areas such as bullying and women's rights in the workplace.
Ms Palmada moved into the Bill King facility at Fingal Haven upon the death of her husband in 2017.
The couple had no children and longtime friend and guardian Peter Phillipson described Ms Palmada as a tireless community worker and a very worthy recipient of the Civilian Service Medal.
"Eileen was born in 1924 so she would have been 18 in 1942. She worked on the land doing manual work and from her stories she appeared to work alongside Italian POWs at times," Mr Phillipson said.
"I know she enjoyed the camaraderie and the work, with the bonus of getting a nice soft uniform to wear. I am not sure of the extent of Eileen's stint in the land army, as she called it, but I can say with much surety that she is well deserving of this medal."
Port Stephens Veterans & Aged Care board chairman Gerry Mohan described Ms Palmada as being a generous and unselfish resident.