One of the key figures behind implementation of water policy in the Murray-Darling Basin has been awarded for her efforts.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Dr Rhondda Dickson has been awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service for helping to create and install the wide-reaching natural resources management policy.

Dr Dickson’s contribution to the formulation and implementation of water policy in the Murray-Darling has not been without criticism, but the recent prize shows recognition of the complex challenges in the policy straddling sensitive environmental, economic and societal factors.

Dr Dickson says many lessons have been learned in the life of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and water plan.

“Having the commitment of governments... having a reform that is the right thing to do for the issues and the concerns of the time,” is integral to successful changes, Dr Dickson says.

As ever, community engagement is fundamental too.

“Working through it with enough time to work with as many stakeholders as are interested in it I think is the one of the key things,” she said.