WALK OF FAME: Olympic silver medalist Leah Neale received the Keys to the City at a public ceremony in the Ipswich Mall. She was escorted to the podium by Mayor Paul Pisasale and councillors Kerry Silver and Andrew Antoniolli.
WALK OF FAME: Olympic silver medalist Leah Neale received the Keys to the City at a public ceremony in the Ipswich Mall. She was escorted to the podium by Mayor Paul Pisasale and councillors Kerry Silver and Andrew Antoniolli. David Nielsen

Keys to the city for Leah

SHE won silver for Australia in the pool at the Rio Olympics, now swimmer Leah Neale has been awarded the Key to the City of Ipswich.

Mayor Paul Pisasale and councillors presented Neale with the city's highest honour during a special ceremony in the Ipswich Mall on Saturday night.

Neal was a member of the women's 4 x 200m freestyle relay team, along with Emma McKeon, Bronte Barratt and Tamsin Cook, which claimed silver in Rio.

Cr Pisasale said Neale was a great ambassador for the City of Ipswich.

"Leah may have placed second in Rio but she is number one in our eyes,” Cr Pisasale said.

"Leah has proven time and again she is not just a world class swimmer but also a wonderful person who understands the importance of community.

"This Key to the City is recognition not only of her achievement at the Olympics but also Leah's ongoing commitment to the development of sport in Ipswich.

"Leah is always generous with her time and regularly supports local events, as we saw recently when she attended a swimathon to help raise funds for Ipswich Hospice Care.”

Neale, 21, was born and raised in Ipswich. She attended Silkstone State School and graduated from St Mary's College in 2012.

Neale made her senior international debut at the 2014 World Short Course Championships and was awarded the Ipswich Australia Day Sportsperson of the Year Award in 2013 and Sports Excellence Award at the City of Ipswich Sports Awards in 2014/15.