LOCAL HERO: Grace Lithgow, semi-finalist in the Queensland Community Achievement Awards - Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award category with councillor Kaye Maguire.
LOCAL HERO: Grace Lithgow, semi-finalist in the Queensland Community Achievement Awards - Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award category with councillor Kaye Maguire. Brooke Duncan

Local hero presented with community achivement award

OUR lives are often marked by the legacy we leave behind.

For Chinchilla local Grace Lithgow, her legacy will not only be diverse, but incredibly inspiring.

Now in her 90s, Grace has been recognised for her contribution to the community at a ceremony last Tuesday morning, where she was presented with her semi-finalist award in the Queensland Community Achievement Awards - Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award category.

The state-wide award recognises selfless people who have contributed significantly to their local communities.

Chinchilla's Lapunyah Art Gallery nominated her for the award in recognition of her artistic and scientific work, which has included chronicling, in incredible detail, local flora.

Gallery director Helen Dennis said it was important to highlight her achievements.

"Grace has been such a strong stalwart of the community in so many ways,” Mrs Dennis said.

"It's not just her work as a botanical artist, but it's her work with groups, organisations, she was one of the founding members of the, what was then the Chinchilla White Gums Art Gallery.

"She's been very strongly involved with the cultural side, the scientific side... also she's just been one of these people who just gets involved with everything,” Mrs Dennis said.

"She used to take Sunday school lessons and also do religious instruction lessons at the primary school... she's just a fabulous role model for women, because... the things that she's done are just so astonishing and I think it's just something that young women these days need to look up to.”

Mrs Dennis said the award highlighted the diversity of skills and talents in rural women.

"It's... a recognition that a rural woman can do a multitude of tasks, except for midwifery she's never been trained in anything, and so she has acquired all those skills herself over her lifetime,” Mrs Dennis said.

Lapunyah Art Gallery president Gail Taylor said the artistic works had local, and even national, significance.

"Over the years (Grace)... has done these botanical drawings, all to scale, of the acacias in the Chinchilla and Murilla shire, the field naturalists have put it into a book and it's been published,” she said.

"More recently Grace has donated the fungi drawings to the gallery, we've finally got them framed, beautiful.”

"These fungi will disappear... but she has captured them and we'll have those forever, so she's done amazing (work)... intricate, she's used a microscope, she's used a magnifying glass to do these drawings, so it's absolutely beautiful.

"So it's of state and national importance that she's done this.”


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