A Wimmera man said he was not thinking about the possible accolades when he rescued a woman from a burning car two years ago.
Today, Nurrabiel resident Troy Oakley was officially awarded a bravery medal for pulling a woman in her 70s from her burning vehicle.
"It's nice to be recognised ... but ultimately, it was not something I thought about at the time," he said.
"Once I saw the lady inside, I just tried to do what I could and thankfully I was able to get her out."
Mr Oakley received the recognition from the Australian Governor-General's office for his considerable bravery on what was previously a pretty average afternoon.
On February 8, 2018, Mr Oakley was driving between his farms on the Wonwondah-Toolondo Road, when he spotted smoke in the distance, then the upturned vehicle.
"I started to slow down and as I drove by, I could see the lady inside," he said.
"I pulled up as soon as I could and ran back to the car.
"The car had caught fire by that stage, and was already smoking; I think there was a fire in the engine bay.
"As I was trying to smash the window, you can tell she was getting worried and scared.
"She was getting hot down there."
Mr Oakley pulled out the passenger side window and pulled the elderly woman to safety.
As he called 000, flames engulfed the vehicle.
"It was very close," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS: Scaremongering accusations as council adopts new policies
"Emergency services rocked up soon afterwards; the fire spread out and into a neighbouring paddock.
"It wasn't very windy that day, but the fire did take hold a little bit."
The female driver was later flown by air ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with suspected head, neck and spinal injuries.
Mr Oakley said it was heartwarming to see the woman in person following her recovery.
"Once she got out of hospital, she visited me at home and gave me a big hug," he said.
"That was nice.
"Since then I've seen her around a little bit; she's a local so I see her around."
Upon reflection, Mr Oakley said he thinks things were lucky to happen the way they did.
"I'm glad I went that way; I had gone the other way home.
"It definitely plays on my mind - it's one of those things - but I just think how lucky I was to be able to be in the situation to help."
I just think how lucky I was to be able to be in the situation to help.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a reception for the 2020 bravery award recipients will take place in the future.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Wimmera Mail-Times, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Wimmera's story. We appreciate your support of local journalism.
Did you know you can receive updates straight to your inbox? To make sure you're up-to-date with news from across the region, sign up below.
Did you want to congratulate Troy on his achievements? You can send a Letter to the Editor to email@example.com.