Much-loved Armidale resident and World War II veteran Thelma McCarthy AM, died over the weekend aged 97.
The wife of former state MP Bill McCarthy, she was often credited as a driving force behind many of her husband's successes.
The current Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who holds the seat once held by Thelma's husband, extended his condolences to the family of delivered a Community Recognition Statement to State Parliament on Tuesday, acknowledging Thelma's incredible contribution to life in Armidale and the region.
"Thelma was a true champion for progressing regional NSW and the rights of women," Mr Marshall said.
"Her passion for improving the Australian way of life, was forged after the bombing of Darwin, when she became one of the first women to join the Royal Australian Air Force."
In 1942, Thelma's work as a wireless telegraphist in Canberra was seen as central in keeping the lines of communication open at the height of hostilities in the Pacific region, and resulted in her promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
In addition to her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia, in 2020, Thelma was recognised with life membership of the NSW branch of the Labor Party - a political movement she loved.
"I know she saw as vital to reducing disadvantage and inequality in our country," Mr Marshall said.
"It goes without saying Thelma's passion and advocacy was admired by all in the Armidale community.
"For me, she was at once a harsh critic and an enormous support, always available and willing to provide her considered views on the issues of the day.
"Thelma epitomised all that is worthy about public life and the importance of social conscience and duty.
"She will be greatly missed by her family everyone who had the privilege of knowing and learning from her," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.