Judith James (nee Emmerson)

MBC 1954-1955Judy James

Judith Studied art and design at QIT, and USQ and has been a professional artist working in commercial, industrial and textile design for over fifty years. Studies and work as an industrial and graphic designer saw Judith working in the 1950's on a revolutionary plastics process that is still used in industry today. After winning an Australian textile design award, Judith's work went on a world travelling exhibition to the USA, Europe and Britain.

Studies at the Brisbane Sculpture Academy in mold-making, casting, resin, plastic, cement, plaster and bronze sculpture, brought commissions in bronze, plastics and timber and the Westfield Sculpture Prize, the Rotary International Sculpture Prize, and the Redlands Watercolour Prize amongst many others. Owning her own gallery and art school in Brisbane, Judith created large sculptural, dyed and altered textiles, which are hung in many Civic Centers, Malls and Corporate and Parliamentary buildings throughout Australia, and her art works and oil and watercolour paintings are represented in collections world-wide, including the USA, Canada, Ireland, UK, Greece and Sweden. Large pottery sculptures and a range of traditional sculptures are in private collections, as well as bronze plaques for public installations in Australia.

Judith also lectured for the TAFE College in art and textile design, and worked in the field of etchings, lino prints, blind embossed prints and screen prints, as well as art restoration work and designing textiles for the Tourist trade around Australia and the Pacific. Judith formulated the first silk dyes to be produced in Australia and used her knowledge of pigments to produce a range of Australian colours that were immensely popular, from her own dye factory. She designed one-off lengths for the fashion industry and made quilted silk evening wear, as well as producing hand designed and made art textiles.

Judith had a prolonged attack of Multiple Sclerosis in 1992, and lost most of her eyesight and became quite disabled. She then became a founding member of the Toowoomba & District MS Support Group Committee and has filled every committee position in a voluntary capacity at some time or another. Judith also founded the very popular and informative MS Newsletter, which she edited for 19 years, as well as establishing the MS Support Group website, which carries information out around Australia and the globe to all those who are very isolated. She has been a phone contact person and liaison officer for the MS Support Group for all of those years and MS Disability Advocate for south-west Queensland.

Judith has been a conveyor of MS disability equipment to MS members for a decade and a fundraiser for MS Qld and Youngcare. As well she is a Life Member of MS Qld., a member of PWD (People With Disabilities Australia), and WWDA (Women With Disabilities Australia), and she has been instrumental in obtaining services for people with disabilities across Australia, enriching the lives of very disabled people.

Judith was awarded 2011 Volunteer of the Year, and nominated for the Regional Services Award 2012, Toowoomba Citizen of the Year 2012 and also nominated for Australian of the Year 2012.

Judith was awarded the Moreton Bay College Medal in 2012.

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