For three decades, Lindy Commens has been teaching children with disabilities.
The veteran teacher has spent her entire career at Sandon Public School, which before 1993 was Mirambeena School for Specific Purposes.
Her distinguished career helping families of children with disabilities has been recognised with a Public Service Medal in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS:
"I feel really honoured that someone has nominated me for this," Lindy said.
"It is really overwhelming, because for me this is what I'm doing, this is my job, I don't think I do anything special."
Before she had ever stepped into a classroom as a teacher, Lindy had already discovered what she wanted to teach special education.
After growing up in Inverell, she was studying at Armidale Teachers College when her future career path became clear during a lecture.
"It was suggested I look at doing special ed, and from that point on I thought 'this is it, this is what I want to do'."
After completing her teaching degree, Lindy went to Newcastle and studied a special education degree before returning to Armidale to commence working at Mirambeena, a school exclusively for students with disabilities.
In 1993, when the school became Sandon Public School, Lindy continued as a special education teacher.
She recalled that a group of parents had really wanted their children to be in an environment that included mainstream classes, which saw the transition to Sandon, with two support classes for children with disabilities.
"It's amazing what the students in support classes gain from the other students, but it's also amazing what the mainstream students get from being with students with disabilities," Lindy said.
"I think it's just beautiful to see that inclusion when that happens, and Sandon's very good at doing that."
Lindy said in her role, what she finds most rewarding is being part of the children's journey.
"It's really a privilege to be part of their lives, because you're not just teaching the child, you're working with the parents and you're working as a collaborative team with the SSOs I work with and the other teachers in the school. (And you're) making sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential."