The Longreach Leader

The following article is taken from the Longreach Leader on Friday August 2017.

INSPIRED after attending a fundraiser for The Heart of Australia cardiac bus last December, Brisbane women Keely Mancini and Rebecca East put together a cycling event to raise funds to help support this service. With overwhelming support from their own community, the women decided to establish a charity ‘Girls Got Heart’ and completed its inaugural event “Heart of Uralla” on August 18.

This event involved an all-female group of cyclists riding from Brisbane to Meandarra over three days. Stopping in Toowoomba and Dalby along the way, they covered 450kms and climbed over 3000m in very windy and hot conditions. Along the way they stopped at schools in Walloon, Ma Ma Creek, Goombungee, Tara and The Gums to an uplifting welcome from the children and when they arrived in Meandarra they were greeted with a celebration dinner hosted by the community.

The Heart of Australia bus is an initiative of Dr Rolf Gomes, and gives rural Queensland communities access to heart specialists through a mobile clinic. ‘The Heart Bus’ travels on a two weekly rotation through outback Queensland stopping at thirteen towns including Longreach and Winton. This invaluable service which takes the clinic to the patients, diminishes the inconvenience, high cost and further stress of traveling to the city for those living in the country.

Rebecca and Keely both have friends and family living in rural Queensland and after listening to Dr Gomes speak, felt overwhelmed to help in some way. Keely is married to Andrew McNamara who is from the Longreach district and although originally from London, she has a huge love of the country. “I am always overwhelmed by the strong community spirit of country people and also so aware of how harsh life in the country can be,” she said. “The service of the Heart Bus is so important to these rural communities, they should have access to the services we have in the city. It’s really that simple.”

The main objective of GGH in 2017 is to raise awareness for the Heart of Australia and funds towards a new Heart Bus which is currently being built. To date Girls Got Heart has raised over $117,000.00 with that amount still rising. To follow their fundraising story head to their web page www. girlsgotheart.com.au.

All Credits to The Long reach Leader