Tunarama Ambassador Quest

One of the longest running charity quests in Australia!

2019 Tunarama Ambassador Crowned ~ Congratulations Damien Burner, Tunarama Ambassador 2019!! Damien was sponsored by Port Lincoln Travel and Cruise and raised funds for Community House.

<< Back to 2013

Kerri Wandel

My name is Kerri Marie Wandel.  I’m 21 years old and I have lived in Port Lincoln for almost three years.  I was born in the small country town of Elliston and grew up with my parents Michael and Jenny, and my four siblings on a property near Sheringa.  I was educated from reception to year twelve at Elliston Area School.

For most of the 18 years I wanted to grow up and stay on the farm with my parents.  That was until I had a taste of the real world on a school camp to Adelaide.  Ever since I was about 15 years old, all I wanted to do was move to the big city and live a life full of cafes and busy shopping malls.

At the age of 17, when I was ready to spread my wings and leave the nest, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  As John Lennon once said ‘life is what happens when you are busy making other plans’.  This was just life happening around me while I was busy planning my future.

At the end of 2008 I decided that I would start my journey off by signing up to be an apprentice chef at the The Goodwood Park Hotel in Adelaide.

While I was in Adelaide, Dad would bring Mum over once a month for chemotherapy and they would always stay with me cramped up in my little unit.  Regardless of the situation and life troubles, Dad would always remember to bring over a drop of home by taking a moment to fill a twenty litre container from the rainwater tank on the farm.

Mum would make sure that my unit was a home always filled with love and homemade jams and cakes.

Mum only had a few treatments left when I moved to Adelaide so this didn’t happen for long.  When Mum went into remission and the visits got further apart I started to realise city life wasn’t my scene.  After 18 months of city life, I was homesick to the point of finishing an 11 hour shift, then randomly driving 700kms through the night just to spend less that 24 hours with my family, only to turn around and drive 700kms back before starting my next shift!

After much thought and many random miles, I made the decision of moving to Port Lincoln.  I applied for a job at the Pier Hotel and three weeks later I had shifted my life back to the coast where it belonged.  Dad always said to you ‘you can taken the girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl’.  I never believed this statement until then.

I found that Port Lincoln was just perfect for me.  Enough cafes and shops to keep me entertained but still had that country atmosphere.  Just five minutes out the road, and there is peace and serenity.

I decided to take on the challenge to give something back to the community.  I have chosen to raise funds for both Port Lincoln Community House and the Port Lincoln RSPCA.  I have been lucky enough to have a solid background behind me wherever I go, but I know there are people out there that are less fortunate than me.  Port Lincoln Community House is somewhere that people can go to get help with issues that they may be struggling with, whether it be basic computer skills or just a home cooked meal every now and then.

I have always loved animals which stems from growing up on a farm.  With the money that I raise the RSPCA intend on using it to add a bit of comfort for the animals and to maintain the facilities of the local shelter.

I hope that by participating in this year’s Quest I learn more about the City of Port Lincoln, raise funds for my chosen charities as well as gaining further confidence within myself and learning new skills that will help me with any future endeavours and challenges that may roll my way.