From major upgrades of iconic Blue Mountains walking tracks to new lookouts offering world famous views, Blackheath resident Barry Simpson has helped build them all since becoming a field officer with the Blue Mountains unit of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in 1977.
"I joined up when there was a scheme to recruit staff to build and upgrade walking tracks in the national park and ever since I've been doing a bit of everything because you've got to be a bit of a jack of all trades as a field officer," he said.
"There's so much variety in this job, that's why I love it and why not too many people leave the service.
"It's very hard work physically and you need to work in all kinds of weather but you get a lot of pride out of what you do and doing the best you can.
"There's a lot of satisfaction in seeing something you've built being used every day.
"We helped build the heritage information centre near Govetts Leap from scratch and we built the staircase, walking track and lookouts at Pulpit Rock which are still in very good shape."
Mr Simpson was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in recognition of his outstanding public service to the NPWS in the Blue Mountains region.
In particular, Mr Simpson was recognised for being the longest serving member of the NPWS' Blue Mountains team and his leadership qualities, demonstrating an exceptionally high standard of performance and a meticulous desire to perform at his best at all times.
Other significant achievements in his career with NPWS so far include working on upgrades of Honeymoon Bridge, the Three Sisters lookouts and the track between Govetts Leap and Evans Lookout and taking part in countless large fire suppression, storm damage response and search and rescue operations where life and property have been directly threatened.
Mr Simpson said becoming an OAM is a real honour that means a great deal to him, but insists the award "is not just for me.
"I am with a team of people doing great work so this is for the whole Blue Mountains NPWS team."