GRAFTON born and bred, Chris Abbott is stealing the limelight on the big stage.
Earlier this month, Mr Abbott, of Chris Abbott Surveying, received one of the most prestigious awards at the annual NSW Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Information Awards.
Recognised for teaching and mentoring students and university graduates and helping rural surveyors, Mr Abbott said he was humbled to receive the award.
"I have always enjoyed what I do without seeking any recognition," Mr Abbott said in his acceptance speech on the night.
"Nonetheless, I gratefully acknowledge the support of my peers and colleagues in surveying who have forwarded a nomination for this award to the committee, unbeknown to me."
Mr Abbott started his career in the Grafton Lands Department in 1982 while studying at the University of Newcastle.
He moved on to work for Ian Marshall at Cessnock, before rejoining the Lands Department in the Queens Square office in Sydney.
"I travelled the length and breadth of the state doing interesting and challenging cadastral determinations," Mr Abbott said.
"They were fun and enjoyable times in Lands in those days, and I learnt a great deal."
Mr Abbott soon found himself back in the Northern Rivers and has lived in Ballina the past 26 years, where he spent the first eight years working for a private practice.
For the past 18 years he has operated his own practice in Ballina and last year purchased an existing practice in Maclean.
"I owe a great deal to all of those that have spent the time teaching me all those many years ago and in respect of them and their time I have only been too happy to pass on that knowledge to the next generation," Mr Abbott said.