'Tremendous satisfaction' from giving back for Pittsworth duo

Laurie and Helen Black receive OAM for work in Pittsworth community

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Laurie and Helen Black, formerly of Pittsworth, have both been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

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Laurie and Helen Black, formerly of Pittsworth, have both been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Picture: Supplied.

Laurie and Helen Black, formerly of Pittsworth, have both been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Picture: Supplied.

It's no secret that volunteers are the cornerstone of small communities, and often these people give up their time for no other reason than to keep their communities prosperous.

This is more than true for the Pittsworth township, where Laurie and Helen Black spent more than 50 years getting involved.

This Australia Day, the dynamic duo have been recognised for their years of contribution, with both awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

A farmer in the Pittsworth region for more than 50 years, Mr Black has been recognised for service to primary industry, and to the community.

He spent more than 30 years as a member of the Queensland Grain Growers Association, holding positions on the district and state councils, as well as the Grain Policy Committee, and serving as association vice president.

Mr Black was also a board member of Grainco for more than 10 years, a member of the Queensland Coarse Grains Committee, among other industry commitments, as well as giving back to the Pittsworth community.

He said the award had come as a surprise.

"The first I heard of it was a lady rang me and said she had sent an email but I hadn't responded," Mr Black said.

"I had seen an email but didn't bother opening it because I thought nobody would be giving me an award; that's how surprised I am."

Mr Black said he was proud to be recognised for his commitment to the Pittsworth community and the grain industry.

"I'm a little overawed, but very proud. I am very proud of what we've done over the years.

"The whole time that I was farming, I was involved in community things, and of course in the grain industry.

"It gave me tremendous satisfaction and you really felt like you were doing it for your industry to make it better.

"I've always believed that farming had to be sustainable and everything that I worked on, every decision I made, was it has to make it better so that farming can be sustainable."

The list of contributions that Mr and Mrs Black made to the Pittsworth community is substantial - so much so, it's probably easier to ask them what they weren't involved with.

Recognised for her service to the community, Mrs Black said her time volunteering with various groups, membership of the Country Women's Association, and positions with the Pittsworth and District Hospital Auxiliary had been a great way to meet people and help others.

"I think a lot of people do a lot of good, but I was very proud to get the award," Mrs Black said.

"When I got married, I was a farmer's wife and that's how I got involved in the charity work."

The couple may have stepped back from farm life and retired to the Brisbane region, but their commitment to the community they call home is still as strong as it was all those years ago.

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