In 1983 Margaret Allen attended a public meeting about where the next high school would be built in the Lower Blue Mountains.
With 1500 students, Springwood High School was bursting at the seams and another school was urgently needed.
Lawson was in contention, but the Springwood parent was overjoyed when Winmalee was given the tick of approval, and her daughter Elizabeth was part of the first intake of year seven students in 1985.
"The NSW Department of Education decided on a new community approach to the building of this school. The Winmalee High School P&C was involved from the first turning of the earth, architectural plans, bus routes, designated pupil zones, colours, badges, uniforms, specialised teacher requests and sporting requirements and many meetings with department officials," Mrs Allen said.
She was part of the very first Parents and Citizens Association and spent the next 20 years in a variety of roles, including secretary, president and archivist - developing the school archives and writing the school's history in The Pioneer Years of Winmalee High School 1984-1990.
Mrs Allen was awarded an Order of Australia Medal on Monday for service to the community of the Blue Mountains.
"I am excited, honoured and humbled to receive this award but there are many people within the community who have helped with the activities with which I have been involved," she said.