News

Emily shines in bid to win quest

NewsMail reporter Emily Prain reflects on her the past years as the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrant for Bundaberg.
NewsMail reporter Emily Prain reflects on her the past years as the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrant for Bundaberg. Max Fleet

IT FEELS like only yesterday I was sitting here at the same desk, staring at the same computer, hands at the ready on the same keyboard wondering how I was going to introduce myself as the 2013/14 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrant.

You see, I was hesitant because the community had only just been through its biggest flood in recorded history and here I was about to embark on a year-long fundraising and awareness quest representing the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.

I did not feel comfortable asking a community, that had already lost so much, to support me when hundreds didn't even have enough money to fix their homes and businesses.

But it was during the time of the flood and the massive clean up effort afterwards that I saw a different side to surf life savers, who were a long way from their usual haunt between the red and yellow flags on our region's beaches.

They were there at evacuation points, at the ready with Inflatable Rescue Boats and first-aid provision and were there for the Mud Army's big clean up.

And I think that was something the community found really comforting - that the people they trusted to guard our beaches, they could trust during those dark days and months of recovery.

I realised then that the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl competition isn't just about the money.

Yes, raising funds is important, but none more so than raising awareness of an organisation that is there for the community whether it is between the flags or in times of natural disaster.

And so began my year-long adventure.

A Surf Girl committee was formed and we immediately began brainstorming fundraising ideas and surf safety awareness campaigns relevant to our region.

Our first major fundraiser was the 2014 Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club calendar.

I do have a long list of thank yous and the first should probably go out to every single person I approached, heckled with and, in some cases, playfully bribed to buy one of the calendars at festivals, shopping centres and businesses.

I'm pretty sure I forced every single family member, their families and their families' families to buy the calendars as Christmas gifts, so hopefully there aren't too many voodoo pins stuck into my face for the month of December.

My next fundraiser, which turned out to be our most successful, was the Black and White Gala Ball at Brothers Sports Club in October.

The night raised more than $10,000 for my surf girl campaign thanks to the tremendous support I had from the Bundaberg business community.

The rest of the year was filled with other events, including a golf day and a very special reunion of the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club's past entrants and winners.

During the year I also spent a fair bit of time thinking about how I could increase surf safety awareness for our foreign visitors.

I was very excited to this year team up with some of the region's backpacker hostels, to install surf safety posters in multiple languages inside the accommodation facilities to further educate travellers about the dangers of the ocean and the importance of swimming between the flags.

Before I knew it, the year was very swiftly coming to an end and it was time for me to head down to the Gold Coast for a week of final judging.

It was there I got to reconnect with the 23 other surf girls who would become my family for the week.

Together we braced miserable, freezing cold conditions at Kurrawa for a day of water assessment and CPR demonstrations, but we did it with many laughs and a positive attitude.

Each of them had their own unique personalities and I can honestly say I've never laughed so much in one week in my life.

The week of judging concluded with the gala ball on May 17.

It wasn't until I was standing on stage with host, Georgie Lewis from Channel 10, in front of hundreds of people did it dawn on me how lucky I was to have been involved in this year's Surf Girl program and been given the opportunity to represent my community.

While I did not win the sash or take home the title, I feel like I have won in so many other ways.

Bundaberg, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Thank you for your unwavering support during the past 12 months.

I feel very fortunate and proud to call Bundaberg my home.



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

KICK THE KILOS: Mackay jumps ahead of Bundy

Who will take out the glory? Just two weeks to go in the ARM Kick the Kilos competition.

MACKAY has finally jumped in front of Bundaberg.

'Like handing over a baby': Indulge's new chapter

WRITIgG A NEW CHAPTER: Indulge head chef Amanda Hinds is moving on from the Bundaberg foodie institution.

The news has brought out emotion in Bundaberg

Local Partners

'He can see!' Mum's tears as boy fights Taipan bite

TWO-year-old Eli Campbell continues to amaze his parents and doctors as he bravely takes on his recovery from a near-fatal taipan bite.


What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

List of gigs happening around Bundy

KEY NOTE: Country singer Alex Peden. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail

There's a live show for everyone

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Jonah Hill involved in a car accident

Jonah Hill was involved in a car crash on Saturday

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!