Queen’s Baton Relay arrives on the Fraser Coast

Queen’s Baton Relay arrives on the Fraser Coast

The Queens Baton has been passed from hand to hand between thousands of people, throughout many countries and cultures across the world, later this month it is OUR turn.

The baton relay will come through Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and Maryborough on it’s way to it’s final destination the Gold Coast, in time for the start of the Commonwealth Games on April 4.

The Queens Baton started its journey on March 13, 2017 on Commonwealth day at Buckingham Palace. The Queen has placed her special message in the baton to be read out at the opening of the games.

Three of our proud Fraser Coast baton-bearers are twelve year old Jade-Elle Brown, the youngest person in Queensland to receive a national bravery award for saving her sister Molly in an horrific car accident, Multi-award winning musician and humanitarian Keri McInerney, and everyone’s ‘little mate’, Adam Moss who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia and Ataxia at a very young age, and encourages all of us to reach our full potential.

Each baton bearer runs or walks with the baton for about 200 metres, the baton is then passed on to the next carrier.

We asked Jade-Elle, Keri and Adam a few questions before the relay began.

Jade-Elle Brown

How do you feel about being picked as a Queens Baton Relay Bearer?

I feel happy grateful and proud and very excited. I am excited to carry the baton on Sunday March 25 in Maryborough and hope lots of people come to watch!

Are you excited/nervous about the Event?

I am excited and a little nervous because its a very rare opportunity for me to participate in.

You have been recognised for saving your sister Molly’s life after a horrific car accident just over four years ago, what do remember about the accident, and how are you coping now?

I am coping better than I used to. I remember everything that occurred on that day from when we hopped in the car to when the truck crashed into us.

You received a Bravery Award for your heroic rescue, how did it feel to be recognised in this way?

It was an amazingly good surprise that had a happy impact on my life. I have met some amazing people through the Australian bravery association.

What would you like to be when you are an adult Jade-Elle?

I would like to be either an architect or a physiotherapist.


Adam Moss

How do you feel about being picked as a Queens Baton Relay Bearer?

There are a lot of outstanding people in our community that are also worthy of this position, so I am very honoured to have been chosen out of all the people who were nominated.

Are you excited/nervous about the Event?

I am both excited and nervous at the same time. This is a once in a life time opportunity. I want my time carrying the baton to go slowly so I can enjoy the moment and remember it for ever.

You have been recognised for embracing life’s challenges and inspiring others to give it a go. How do you achieve this day to day?

You only get one chance at life, so everyone should give it their all to make themselves the best person they possibly can. I like to encourage others with or without a disability to get out there and give everything a go. It doesn’t matter if you win or come last, its about doing your best and accomplishing things that you never thought were possible.

What was it like to gain gold and silver medals at the National Cross Country Championships?

I never actually believed that I would become a member of the Queensland team let alone be a silver medallist, and then a gold medallist. Standing on the podium with a gold medal hanging around my neck was the proudest moment of my life. It was absolutely unbelievable, but at the same time I was tired and freezing cold and just wanted to go home for a hot bath and a lay down

– It was 5deg, raining and blowing a gale during my race.

What would you like to be when you are an adult Adam?

Obviously I would love to be an Olympian, but if not I guess I’ll probably become a doctor. I love to help people and am not afraid of a little bit of blood and gore.


Keri McInerney

How do you feel about being picked as a Queens Baton Relay Bearer?

Being chosen as a Queens Baton Relay Bearer, makes me feel very humbled, honoured and extremely proud, to be representing my home town of Hervey Bay, Queensland and Australia in this International event. . It’s so wonderful to be given this accolade for my career achievements and also my community and charity work over these past years. It also makes me very proud to do this for my family who are just thrilled that this is happening. I do wish my mum was still alive to enjoy this wonderful moment with me, but I know she will be running beside me on the day in spirit. I just feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing once in a life time experience.

Are you excited/nervous about the Event?

I’d have to say a little of both really. Excited because its going to such a unique and special experience to share with all the other Baton Bearers and the local community and nervous because its such a huge thing, and very different to being up on stage performing.  We carry the Queens personal hand written message for the Commonwealth Games, that’s amazing!

You have been recognised for your humanitarian work and fund-raising efforts. Tell us a little about these?

I’ve always believed that my career gave me an spring board to give back to others. I did this by the creation of  many charity events, community projects and mentorship programs. It’s not all about me, I’ve got a big heart and genuinely care about other people and what I could do to help those aspiring artists and also those less fortunate individuals who just need a helping hand.

I come from a family who experienced very tough times. My childhood, was not easy and I remember a Chistmas where we had nothing, literally. Lifeline came to our aid and we were given Christmas food and I was given a small Barbie as a gift. I never forgot that kindness and I guess that’s why I am so empathetic towards people and charity. I wanted to give something back in thanks.

I started fundraising at the age of 15 years of age. I was running my own dance school back then (yes I’m was once a professional dancer, which not many people know), and our first public student concert, raised money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Since that time, I’ve been involved in the organisation of many events, from two Flood Appeals one local and one state wide, with concerts being coordinated and all money raised going to assist the many people who had lost everything in the Queensland Floods. The ‘ Queensland Flood Appeal’, gathered support state wide, with concerts in a number of regions. Everyone was so supportive and we helped a lot of people. I received a commendation from the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh for this concept. It was however just great to be able to help.

With the extremes of Australia’s weather, I also worked alongside Hervey Bay’s Ken Bennett, to organise a 12 hour ‘Out With Drought Concert’. At that time we raised thousands of dollars for the Farmers, struggling in drought conditions.

A few years later, I wrote and recorded a single for the Bali Appeal, which raised funds for victims, after the dreadful Bali attack. I was so honoured to receive commendations from the then Prime Minister Mr John Howard, The Queensland Premier, Mr Peter Beattie and the Member for Wide Bay (and former Deputy Prime Minister) Mr Warren Truss. So great to do something so worthwhile I have to say.

I’ve also been very involved with helping individuals in need. A young  local 10 year old girl, Jessica, some years ago, who had facial cancer, touched my heart in a big way. I decided to organise a fundraising event to enable the family to grant her one last wish. We were very successful and her wish was granted. She sadly died a few short months later. A beautiful girl who remains very much in my heart.

In recent years, I helped my dear old friend and co worker Bob Carlson, to travel to Germany for treatment for Motor Neurone Disease. That was also a very special event and remains an emotional night to remember for me personally. With the support, once again, of our local community, (who have always had big hearts), we were able to raise over $20,000 for the trip and treatment. We lost Bob a few years later, but giving him a chance to survive, was worth every second of the organisation of the event. It also brought the music fraternity together for a common goal which I believe is so important.

I also had the opportunity to represent Australia in Hollywood and became a performer scout for the Australian team and then for a publishing and recording company in LA.  This gave me a huge opportunity to give young artists a chance to chase their dreams. It also opened up the idea of mentoring young artists. In recent years several artists I have mentored have gone on to have amazing and very successful careers in the arts. That’s a big reward for me, as I love seeing them fulfilling their goals and doing so well.

There have been many more projects but these are the memorable ones for me personally.

As a multi – award winning musician, what do you have coming up this year on the musical front?

I am currently in rehearsal with our new band line up, ready to tour my new album which is to be released very soon. It’s been a few years since my last release, as I went through a period of illness, so took time out after my 5 years of  US sojourns and touring,  to focus on my health and healing. I was diagnosed with a very rare disease in 2011 called Tenosynovial giant cell tumour (TGCT or PVNS as it was called previously) in my elbow.  I was only the third person in the world to be diagnosed with this disease in the elbow, so it was pretty overwhelming at the time and very concerning.  I’ve had 2 surgeries and will need a third in the near future but til then, I am just getting on with what I love to do, my music. 🙂

I’m playing at a few festivals this year during our tour and will be performing with John Swan (Swannee) and a few other major performers in Adelaide in October, where we will be raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research. I am also co-writing a song for the event. Looking forward to this very much.

I have also co written a song for with another artist, Dale Heywood from NSW, who has been fighting Pancreatic Cancer. We are currently getting the music side of that organised and will be recording vocals as soon as we can. It will be released as a combined duet with Dale and that really is another important and very personal project for me. I went thru a bit of a scare myself recently, so anything I can do to support Pancreatic Disease Research is a huge thing on my agenda at present.

Anything else on the horizon for 2018?

In my spare time, 🙂 I have a mentorship program for young artists happening; I am writing songs for a few movie opportunities with soundtracks in mind and have another project in planning stages for a touring show for children.

Is there anything else that you would like us to know?

I also make time for my spiritual life counselling work which is a part time day job I love. I work with some amazing people Australia wide and also internationally. I love helping people find their way through life, as it can be very difficult working through life’s many challenges. I teach Spiritual development and also do a number of workshops for emotional development and healing,  which I will continue to take on the road. It’s another passion of mine.

I lead a pretty busy life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, however my family are equally as important to me and they are my first priority in all that I do. I now have new additions to the family and love my time with them, so its important that I always have that balance for all that I do.

I am also a very keen animal lover and supporter. Living in Hervey Bay, brings the opportunity to be at one with nature and around my home in the Bay, I totally find my peace with nature in mind. Hervey Bay is such a beautiful place to live. Absolute paradise. Grateful to live here.

Written by Kim Parnell

Click here to see Hervey Bay event details

Click here to see Maryborough event details

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