My name is Heather Channon and with the support of my sponsor Elders, Port Lincoln, I am excited and proud to be an entrant in the 2017 Tunarama Ambassador Quest. I would like to thank Darryn for allowing me to represent Elders and I am looking forward to embarking on this journey and in getting out into our local community whilst fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctors Service or also known as the RFDS.
I was born in Riverton and growing up as a child, we moved around the remote areas of South Australia and New South Wales with my father’s work. However, our family holidays always brought us back to the lower Eyre Peninsular where I can say some of my fondest memories as a child growing up came from the time we spent at Elliston, Port Lincoln and Cowell.
I moved to Port Lincoln 2 years ago from the Gold Coast to be closer to my family after the sudden and unexpected passing of my partner in early 2014. Rob and I had five children, Blake now 17, Mitchell 15, Hayden 9 and Lachlan and Sophie 6 year old twins. My Children and I have now settled down in Port Lincoln where I have bought a home. I have completed two and half years of a teaching degree, however I have decided to embark on a new career path.
Since living here, I have found Port Lincoln to be a wonderful place to raise children. As my family and I have received such wonderful support since moving here, I wanted to try and give something back. Being an entrant in the quest will allow me to raise much needed funds for the RFDS.
The RFDS has been a passion of mine which started when I was 10 years old when I lived at Broken Hill. My dad was working out on a station when he became ill. I still remember clearly that day watching the flying doctors plane land at the Broken Hill airport with my dad. If it was not for the RFDS, my dad may not be here today. After also experiencing recent family health issues, it has made me realise just how isolated we can be from specialist medical treatment, especially when it comes to medical emergency situations.
In 2014 the Flying Doctors assisted 280,000 people across Australia, which works out to be one person assisted every 2 minutes. In the last financial year the RFDS landed a total of 931 times in the lower Eyre Peninsula and 360 of those landings were in Port Lincoln. I hope raising money for the RFDS will enable them to continue to assist families going through medical situations like I have in the past.
As a busy mother of 5, I am thankful for this opportunity. I would like to thank the people in my committee for agreeing to assist me through this journey, Jan and Ebony from LaMode hairstylist for styling my hair throughout the quest, and those who have already generously donated in the early stages of my events. Once again thankyou to Elders for sponsoring me.
Tunarama weekend has become an iconic event on Port Lincolns calendar. It embodies all the great things that make Port Lincoln one of the greatest places in which to live and prosper.
Heather Channon (Sashing Night Speech)