Born in Brisbane, Queensland, in 1915, died in Caloundra, Queensland, in 2000.
Without any formal art training she began painting wildflowers in 1950. She published 'Queensland Wildflowers' with Jacaranda Press in 1959, and went on to publish and retail wildflower prints and stationary.
Kathleen McArthur was chosen as the Sunshine Coast Daily's 'Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Century' in 2002. The selection panel acknowledged the decision as controversial. However they felt that Kathleen's passionate commitment, meticulous research and articulate advocacy contributed so significantly to the preservation of the environment that she fully deserved this honoured place in the region's history. Papers reported that she had won the Citizen of the Century award as she had not only fought and won may significant battles for our waterways, beaches, wildlife and landscapes, but played a pivotal role in educating the public to an awareness of environmental fragility.
Kathleen late of Caloundra died in 2000 at the age of 84 having devoted many years to saving the environment. She was one of the small group of people, together with poet Judith Wright, who founded the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland in 1962. She was involved in many campaigns including pushing for preservation of what is now Cooloola National Park and was champion of Pumicestone Passage, successfully lobbying for its inclusion in the Register of the National Estate. Her passion, knowledge and commitment help to ensure that development did not entirely obliterate the natural charm of the sunshine coast region.
She was not only a conservationist but an artist, author, educator and activist. One of her passions was wildflowers which featured in several of her publications.
Source: Pers.Com. with Murray Fagg; plus reports published
in the Sunshine Coast Daily 1 June 2002