FEDERAL member for Calare Andrew Gee dedicated time in parliament on Thursday to pay tribute to fallen NSW Police officer Senior Constable Kelly Foster.
Sen Const Foster died in a tragic canyoning incident in the Blue Mountains last month after going to the aid of a fellow canyoner, who was swept into a whirlpool in the Wollangambe River, and disappeared underneath the water.
Both women drowned.
On Monday, Mr Gee said the nation "owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Sen Const Kelly Foster".
Mr Gee called the officer a "true Australian hero" as he recounted her decorated career, which included being awarded the National Police Service Medal, the National Medal, the NSW Police Medal and a Commissioner's Unit Citation in recognition of her involvement in the Lindt Cafe siege.
"In May 2020, Kelly took the opportunity to continue her policing career in Lithgow," he said.
"She would often comment that it was an honour to serve the Lithgow community and she relished the opportunity to return to operational policing. Her colleagues speak of how profoundly she cared for others and how much they respected her and enjoyed working with her.
"Kelly's recent funeral in Lithgow was a deeply moving farewell that told the story of a remarkable Australian woman.
"Kelly will forever be remembered for her dedication, professionalism, compassion, love and extraordinary courage."
A further nod to her courage, Sen Const Foster posthumously received the Commissioner's Valour Award, the state's highest bravery award.
Mr Gee extended his condolences to her family, friends and colleagues, and said she would continue to be a source of inspiration.
"We are very grateful for Kelly's service to our region, our state and our country," he said.
"Whenever any of us needs any inspiration to do better, to go further or to do greater deeds, all we have to do is think of Kelly Foster. She will never be forgotten."