Committee of Champions

Committee of Champions

Committee of Champions

Annette Keough – Chair | RN | Station Representative

My name is Annette Keough, I am a wife, a mother to 3 children aged 15, 13 & 9 and extended family member to many. I have grown up with a farming background on the Atherton Tablelands in the dairying industry. I finished school and attended James Cook University in Townsville and completed a Bachelor of Nursing Science, where I worked in various settings as a Registered Nurse and settled into the perioperative area (Operating Theatres). I continued my study with a post graduate certificate in Perioperative Nursing in Sydney. Although I loved my nursing the heart strings of home and the rural lifestyle did bring me back to North Queensland, where I worked in various regional hospitals and settings. I met my husband and once having my first child, I moved permanently to a cattle property in the Einasleigh area. I have been able to continue nursing casually, with Queensland Health at Atherton District Hospital and with the Etheridge RemoteMobile Nursing team.

I understand the issues of living remotely, living with disabilities in a remote setting (as my eldest child has multiple special needs), access to services or lack of and the desire of people wanting to live and work remotely. When I was asked to be part of the Etheridge Cares Team, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes, as I genuinely wish to see a quality primary health care focus in our community and be able to see people involved in their own care and stay in their own homes with the help of Aged Care. I hope to see our team grow and a strong community of care and kindness be available to those in need.

Irene Dempsey – Vice Chair | Station Representative

My name is Irene Dempsey I’m 40 years old and live on Wirra Station between Forsayth & Einasleigh with my partner of 10 years Ted Loudon. We own and run both Wirra Station and Wirra Earthmoving. We have identical twin boys 5 years old called Jack and Billy. What spare time I do get I enjoy horse riding, gardening and love a good book with a cup of tea.

I became part of Etheridge Cares because I love caring for the elderly and would like to see them be able to stay in their own homes within the Etheridge Shire for as long as possible.

Amanda Dixon - Treasurer | Station Representative

Hello, I’m Amanda Dixon from Bagstowe Station in the South East of the Etheridge Shire.

I received a Bachelor of Pharmacy and worked in this field up until I had my first child. I moved to the Etheridge Shire 26 years ago to live with my husband and his parents at Bagstowe which his family has owned and occupied since the early 1900’s.

Since living in the Etheridge Shire my full-time job has become raising my children and working on the station with my husband. Being integrated into the community and meeting graziers like my husband and my in-laws, who now and for their whole lives have called the Etheridge Shire home I realize many do not want to move away to retire.

An understanding of the remoteness of our shire and the distances many of the elderly live from towns and services is my motivation for joining Etheridge Cares. It is my strong belief that Etheridge Cares will play a vital role getting as many of our shires elderly the help they require through the My Aged Care packages so they can remain in their own homes as they age. 

Renae Woodforth – Secretary | Program Coordinator

Originally from South East Queensland, I have been recently working on Cattle Stations in the Etheridge Region.  I have 25 years experience in Community Aged Care, disabilities, and rural community development.  My focus has been to work with people of all ages, cultures, and abilities, assisting them in any way possible, for their personal benefit as well as that of their communities and services.

My passion is supporting rural and remote communities to thrive and be able to access similar services to their city cousins.  I was asked to support the development of a community aged care support program in the Etheridge Region and provide valued support.  My aim for the future of Etheridge Cares is that it will be a program that offers support to all aging community members through activities that provide social, physical, and mental wellbeing and support.

Nardeen Hayden – Committee Representative

Born and raised in a small country town in NSW. My initial career is in small business and taxation. I returned to university later to study teaching. I have worked in both Primary and High School settings, operated my own accounting practice, worked in outdoor education, operated a banking franchise for 15 years, renovated several old cottages, taught on cattle stations and even mustered a few times. 

After my son left home, I decided to head away on a one year working holiday – that was seven years ago! I find myself settled in Einasleigh. I am involved in Etheridge Cares to assist with the growing need for aged care in the community I now call home. The people here have a strong connection to country and deserve the opportunity to see out their days in the communities they choose to reside in.

Tammy Hughes - | Representative | North Head Station | Georgetown Coordinator

My name is Tammy Hughes and I have lived in Etheridge Shire for most of my life. I grew up in a transient lifestyle, mostly in rural settings. At 25, I married Barry and settled at North Head Station. We just celebrated 40 years of marriage, with 3 children and 8 grandchildren!

We are currently residing in Georgetown to support Barry during his term as Mayor for Etheridge Shire Council. I love gardening and being outdoors, but if it gets too warm, (as it can do out here) there is nothing better than a good book. As a personal coach, I have developed both a love for, and an understanding of assisting people to move forward.

My experience with my own parents and in-laws aging in Etheridge and Croydon shires, really highlighted the lack of services for our elderly. I have experienced, the disconnect and frustration that happens to families, including the emotional and financial challenges, that occur when a loved one needs to move away, due to the lack of services. I am excited to be an advocate, assisting more of our aging community members, in staying at home for as long as they can.

Paula Ransom - Greenvale Representative

Hi I’m Paula Ransom. I am a wife of 45 ½ years and the mother of two children. My husband and I were both born in Townsville and after 50 years, decided it was time to move. We moved to Einasleigh where we had a block of land and were going to build to retire there. However things didn’t go to plan and we ended up in Georgetown. I started a job with Savannah Regional Health Service and through this position, I realised the impact of the ageing people in the region, being remote and not having any services. When I lived in Townsville, I had a bit of an understanding of the problems of ageing, being unable to get some services, but that was nothing compared with not being able to get any services at all. 

The thought of having to leave your whole life behind you and move to an entirely different situation, was very daunting to some of the people I came across during my time in Gerogetown. 

Since moving to Greenvale, where there is a higher demographic of people who need aged care, I really wanted to help. I love being able to assist where I can and I am sure that we as a service can give back to our elderly as they have given to us.