Businesses collaborate to give family unforgettable holiday
THE Emu Park community has warmly embraced a family who have had unimaginable heartache and struggles over the past five years.
Businesses banded together to offer the Julia Creek family the "trip of a lifetime".
John and Kimberley Wilson's daughter Peyton, then aged 11, died in a quad bike accident at Hughenden just before Christmas 2013.
Since then, they have struggled with drought as it takes hold of Outback Queensland.
David Croft, Canberra, saw their story on television and got in touch with volunteer-based BlazeAid to offer his Zilzie holiday home.
Glenn Adamus of the Beautiful Emu Park Promotions campaign was also contacted to help organise the holiday from the ground.
"This has blown our minds every which direction," Ms Wilson said.
"Emu Park is just the friendliest little community."
In Emu Park on Monday, the Wilsons, who have two children, Zander, 4, and Kadence, 12, were greeted with overwhelming kindness.
Drakes Supermarket gave a hamper, My Beauty Spot a therapy session, the Pine Beach Hotel a voucher, Great Keppel Island Hideaway overnight accommodation and island transfers, Camera House Stockland provided a large framed iconic photograph as a memento of their holiday.
The Morning Bulletin spoke with Ms Wilson just as they got off the Keppel Konnections ferry at Rosslyn Bay from their trip to GKI.
"We had a lovely trip over there. It was absolutely beautiful. We had never been to an island like that before -others just pale in comparison to it," she said.
Being able to share the magical moments with the kids, seeing their faces light up and how elated they have been has been special.
Zander thought Koorana Crocodile Farm was the best and Kadence loved snorkelling at GKI.
Dad's favourite has been seeing the kids so happy and the snorkelling.
Mum is going into her 12th year as being the children's home tutor - she teaches them through School of the Air.
"I never get to turn off from being that authoritarian. I've got to be that fun mum."
They were told about the holiday house at Zilzie but all the other gifts were an incredible surprise.
"It's not even close to what we imagined. We just expected to come and visit the town - have a bit of a relax," she said.
It has also been a sentimental time for the family.
Next week, Kadence, who is now the oldest, goes to boarding school in Toowoomba.
She will be the first to go to boarding school as Peyton didn't make it that far.
Being able to spend quality family together before their family unit changes rapidly has just been immeasurable.
"She can go into boarding school and just know we have had a lovely time.... it's been a memory creating time," Ms Wilson said.
Peyton was friends with Dolly, the 14-year-old girl from the Northern Territory who sadly took her own life - possibly linked to her having been bullied.
"It's terrifying to think about and you realise now those things can happen to us ... so it's scary to send them away," Ms Wilson said.
"But they need that broader education and the opportunities."
Mr Adamus thanked all of the businesses who were involved in helping making the holiday unforgettable.
"It was the most heart-warming experience chaperoning the Wilson family during their stay and I'm delighted with the 'unity' that is alive and well in this community of beautiful Emu Park," Mr Adamus said.