Governor offers influential voice on behalf of Gympie Region
PENELOPE Wensley wants to help, not get in the way - and that is exactly what the Queensland Governor achieved yesterday when she offered herself and her office as important parts of the Gympie region's recovery from disaster.
She visited Memorial Lane with RSL officials before heading to Kandanga Bowls Club for tea with school captains, council workers and community leaders.
"I hear a lot about the resilience of communities, but I worry about people's emotional health and well-being, because it happens so often," she said at the bowls club.
"People don't need me during a disaster, they're too busy.
"They've got prime ministers and premiers to deal with and mayors and councillors are busy enough without having to look after me.
"I worry about what happens later, after the media have moved on to the next issue, but the customers still aren't coming through the door and the bank says it's time to pay because we can't carry you anymore ... when farmers haven't got the crops in or the cattle out.
"That's when people need a boost.
"I try to come back in that period and to do it again and again, to let people know they are not forgotten."
And she said she would be back here on April 12.
"It's important to help restore a sense of normality to people's lives.
"I'm here to listen and to find out and I can carry messages in a gentle way to people who are very busy.
"I'm not involved in politics, but I can share ideas and thoughts and suggestions with people who are making the decisions."
The visit was almost a trip home for her husband Stuart McCosker, whose uncle, Tom, grew pineapples near Kandanga.
ON OUR SIDE
Governor offers to listen and speak on our behalf.
"I can share ideas."