Forging a reputation for helping others

Gail KerCLONCURRY’S two Australia Day ambassadors are renowned for helping others.

Alison Fairleigh has a passion for rural mental health and farming communities – something that hits home in the North West in recent drought conditions.

She was chosen as the RIRDC Queensland Rural Woman of the Year in 2013 for her advocacy in improved rural mental health services and suicide prevention, and it is her mission to ensure that mental health is seen to be just as important as physical health within the agricultural sector.

Ms Fairleigh has successfully used social media to shine a light on life in rural and remote Australia and is passionate about empowering others to find their voice through this powerful medium.

She sits on an advisory committee for the National Rural Health Alliance as well as being an associate member of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Queensland.

Ms Fairleigh is the Townsville area manager at the Mental Illness Fellowship of North Queensland where she is working to deliver drought assistance programs in north and Western Queensland.

The other Australia Day ambassador for Cloncurry is Gail Ker (OAM), who built one of Australia’s most innovative and successful not-for-profit settlement and employment centres – ACCESS Community Services, in the past two decades.

Working in one of Australia’s most disadvantaged areas, Ms Ker has built a hub of inclusion for migrants, refugees and other people needing a helping hand.

Believing that everyone has potential to be unlocked, Ms Ker works with local businesses to address a culture of disadvantage and to foster an atmosphere of opportunity.

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