CASTLEMAINE’S Joan Webster may be 80, but her efforts in helping to increase awareness about bushfire safety haven’t stopped.For more than 45 years Ms Webster has campaigned for greater bushfire safety and awareness as a public speaker, journalist and author of books on the subject. Her work has been used a resource for rural fire and emergency authorities along with Government departments.As a result, the proud Australian has been awarded an Order of Australia medal. “It’s just amazing,” Ms Webster said.“I feel so grateful to have had this recognition.“I’m overwhelmed with emotion to have this.”In more than 55 years of professional writing, Ms Webster has had her work presented in all forms of the media. She is also well known for her book The Complete Bushfire Safety Book, which has been used by the Victorian CFA and the South Australian Country Fire Service to train officers since 1988.The book contains many bushfire safety ideas that have now become part of official CFA brochures, such as shuttering windows, preparing a family bushfire plan, the personal survival kit and the actions lists of what to do in the various stages of bushfire threat. Furthermore, Ms Webster regularly acts as a guest speaker on fire safety matters for community fireguard groups, rural fire services and at public meetings.Having extinguished her first fire at 11, Ms Webster said it was important to educate citizens about bushfire dangers.“I’ve always been aware of bushfire safety.“In the 1960s there were a lot of bushfires. “There wasn’t a lot of information for the Government. “So every time I had an idea I’d contact the authorities.”As a result, she has regularly lobbied politicians, encouraging them to further educate citizens on the dangers of bushfires.Her groundbreaking analysis of the stay-or-go dilemma also led to changes in official CFA policy.Ms Webster has also campaigned on many other issues, matters, including road safety.She said she would celebrate the day with family and friends at home.