KIND VICTORY: Professor Lesley Chenoweth has won the Queen’s Birthday Honour though her lifetime of work with people living with disabilities.
KIND VICTORY: Professor Lesley Chenoweth has won the Queen’s Birthday Honour though her lifetime of work with people living with disabilities. Tuba Media Productions

Ex RGG student receives Queen's Birthday honour

FROM Rockhampton Girls Grammar to Government House, it has been quite a life journey for Professor Lesley Irene Chenoweth.

The 65-year-old is one of 45 Australians awarded an Officer of the Order (AO) in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours for their contributions to the community.

Ms Chenoweth, now a Professor of Social Work at Griffith University, said her teachers at Girls Grammar were to thank for her academic success.

"I was born and raised in Rocky...and I really had a wonderful education at Rockhampton Girls Grammar," she said.

"I had some amazing teachers there, women who were really inspiring.

"I think even in the '70s there were lots of barriers to women doing all sorts of things...we were encouraged.

"A number of my friends went to university from our year."

Prof Chenoweth was awarded for "distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the area of social work, as an academic and administrator, and as a leading supporter of people living with disabilities.

She said she had spent most of her life trying to help those with a disability.

"I am a social worker; so my early work was with people with a disability and their families. I have had that commitment for a long time," she said.

"I believe people with a disability should have the same opportunities as every Australian in terms of education, employment, and community participation."

Prof Chenoweth will never know who nominated her for the award, but she said she remains truly humbled.

She said she was looking forward to attending Government House to receive her medal.

"It is really a great honour and you feel so humbled when you learn you are going to receive one. It's a great acknowledgement for those that have done so much," she said.

"It's been wonderful, even my grandchildren have been very interested."



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