7 December, 2023
Search on for local heroes
HEROES come in all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds, according to 2022 Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland Hero Emma Jackson of Wolverton Station.
Emma was nominated for the award after she saved her friend’s life while on the station in 2021.
She was announced winner of the Far North section and then went onto win the Queensland Hero where she was awarded a $20,000 grant, provided by Ergon Energy Retail, to support a healthcare initiative in her community.
“To be nominated was a little surreal. To win the state hero was a wow factor. It was exciting and surreal at the same time,” Emma said.
Emma used her grant to start a Horse Wisdom Program and this award opportunity has opened the door to extended funding.
The two-day program was successfully launched in June, offering participants the opportunity to work and communicate with horses which in turn helps to develop more control over feelings and thoughts while gaining a clearer understanding of how these affect their choices and behaviours.
It’s a collaboration with the RFDS and Ergon Energy to deliver the free program to communities throughout Far North Queensland.
“It’s wonderful to be able to embark on this program with the help of the grant from Ergon Energy Retail,” Emma said.
She said the award helped to build her credibility with the RFDS and exposed her program to the broader community and the role she plays.
So much so, funding for the program will continue for the next two years.
“They recognise this is preventative work…the more of that we do, the less need there is for mental health services,” Emma said.
“These two days could really help people to have more control over feelings, be more aware of limiting thoughts and see how these affect their choices and behaviours.”
Emma encouraged anyone to nominate a person they felt was a hero for this year’s award.
“I think that the key message is you don’t have to save someone’s life to be a hero,” she said.
“If anyone is contributing out of genuine sincerity and showing that they care, they are being a hero…If you think anybody is a hero, nominate them.”
Local heroes can be nominated from anywhere across Queensland, with nominations closing on 12 December. Nominate a hero at www.rfdslocalhero.com.au