Graphic: RFDS Queensland Hero announced
Condamine locals, Kate and Justin Boshammer have been crowned the 2021 RFDS Queensland Hero after turning their unimaginable grief into life-changing fundraising efforts to help others.
After losing their precious seven-month-old daughter, Zara, to a severe and rare chromosomal condition, Pallister Killian Syndrome (PKS), Kate and Justin organised ‘Zara’s Day’ to honour their little girl and raise funds for the RFDS who had flown Zara to Brisbane twice to receive specialist care at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.
The Boshammers were nominated for their tireless work in raising funds for not only the RFDS, but also the Steve Waugh Foundation and their local hospital in Miles which was able to purchase two high flow oxygen facilities.
In 2020, ‘Zara’s Day’ raised more than $150,000 for the three organisations. But the family were not yet done. They again staged an online Zara’s Day event in 2021, raising another $30,000 for the RFDS, along with $60,000 for the Steve Waugh Foundation.
“It was a beautiful surprise to be announced as the RFDS Queensland Hero and we feel it is as much for the supporters of Zara’s Day as it is for us,” Kate said.
“All of the regional winners have contributed in such meaningful ways and it was inspiring to watch their stories and learn about what they’ve done to support the RFDS.
“The experience we had with the Flying Doctor was incredible, and we were grateful for the assurance that they would be there for us to transport Zara to where she needed to be.”
As the overall winner, Kate and Justin will now receive a $7,500 grant, courtesy of Ergon Energy Retail, to create or support a healthcare initiative in their community.
“Justin and I would like to use the Ergon Energy Retail grant to offer Nurture workshops in our community to provide important access to health, wellbeing and parenting education to mothers and expectant mothers,” Kate said.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib thanked all nine regional winners and congratulated the Boshammer Family on being named the 2021 RFDS Queensland Hero.
“This year’s RFDS Local Hero Award winners were an especially inspiring group of Queenslanders who have all worked hard to make their communities a better place and to keep the Flying Doctor flying,” she said.
“The Boshammer Family dealt with inconceivable grief and yet they channeled their heartbreak into giving back to others. The Flying Doctor is in awe of their efforts,” she said.
“Kate and Justin’s story clearly resonated with the public and this award is testament to the impact the Boshammers have had on their community and the legacy they’ve created for their daughter.”
“The money that Kate and Justin so generously raised for the RFDS has enabled the organisation to purchase new state-of-the-art baby capsules that will greatly benefit children during their flight to hospital.”
Ergon Energy Retail Executive General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said the business was honoured to recognise the dedicated work of these selfless Local Heroes.
“This is our sixth year as a major partner of the awards, and each year I’m deeply moved by the effort, kindness and passion shown by all the nominees,” she said.
“The work Kate and Justin have done through Zara’s Day has truly made a difference to their community and the lives of many others,” she said.
The annual RFDS Local Hero Awards are proudly supported by Ergon Energy Retail, Seven News Queensland and Queensland Country Life.
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