Mr Underwood’s AM was for significant service to the community through forestry and bushfire management and as an historian and writer.
He has been the driving force behind The Bushfire Front, an independent think-tank devoted to improving bushfire protection in WA, since 2003.
A forestry officer from 1963-85, Mr Underwood was general manager 1985-94 of the forests department of the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management.
On Monday Mr Underwood said he was pleased to accept his AM.
“It is good, you do your best and work hard but don’t really expect to be acknowledged for that,” Mr Underwood said.
“I’m representing the views of a lot of people and a lot of those are volunteers.”
Mr Underwood said he believed an announcement by the State government on the specific form of a rural fire service was imminent.
“I’ve said I would like to see a separate rural fire service and the government has said it will create a rural fire service under DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services),” he said.
Another AM recipient was Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) WA honorary president Lynne Bradshaw, Kallaroo.
Her award was for significant service to animal welfare at a State and national level, to live export and farm management standards, and to business.
Wickepin crop insurance assessor and former shire councillor David Astbury was awarded an OAM for service to local government and the local community.
Chief crop assessor since 2007 with Crop Insurance Services Association, Mr Astbury was a founding member of Wickepin Men’s Shed and a member since 2000 and chairman since 2010 of the Albert Facey Homestead Committee.
A shire councillor 1997-2014, he was chairman of the local recycling committee for many years, fire control officer and a member of the Local Emergency Management Area Command Committee.
He was the shire’s Senior Citizen of the Year in 2013.