Words change the world
AT 85, Claire Johns has seen Australian political change over the course of close to a century.
The Warwick LNP Branch member went from being a pioneer in giving women and families a voice in politics to the recipient of Queensland's second highest LNP Award.
Mrs Johns joined the LNP in Warwick in 1998 at which time, , she said, women just sat and listened.
"For years and years, in my opinion, women just skirted around the edges," Mrs Johns said.
"And it's only in the last 10 years that people have really started to listen to us.
"I used to always get up and have my say, and sometimes you'd look and men would have shocked looks on their faces, and other times there would be no response and I would sit down thinking, 'They just think I'm a silly old lady'."
However, that "silly old lady" become one of the strongest political pioneers in Warwick, with her work through the Southern Downs LNP Women and Warwick LNP Branch making national waves.
"We make sure politicians hear what we say now," Mrs Johns said.
"We were talking about the baby bonus, and it was actually the Warwick branch of our women that got that off the ground.
"We wrote letters to the Prime Minister and John Anderson and suggested people with young families were really having a tough time.
"Within two years that was brought in."
She said the group was the eyes on the ground for politicians who found themselves disconnected from the people they were serving.
"We would see these things," Mrs Johns said.
"We don't make a big noise about everything, but we notice things and we discuss them, and we write letters or approach politicians about them.
"By doing things quietly in the background, you get things done."
Warwick LNP Branch chairman Dawn Scrymgeour said Mrs Johns was a truly worthy recipient of the highly-acclaimed award.
"She has always been prepared to help when needed, and she never needs to be asked," Mrs Scrymgeour said.
"They only give out three or four Outstanding Service Awards a year."
Mrs Johns currently serves as the secretary of the Southern Downs LNP Women, and says she's keeping a good balance between work and her garden.
"I've got it all pretty well organised... I've been doing it so long," she laughed.