‘This rescue service is such a blessing to families’
It has been 25 years since RACQ CQ Rescue began saving lives across the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region and the vital service celebrated the silver milestone with the unveiling of a stunning augmented reality mural.
And it was extra special for budding Mackay artist 16-year-old Jane O’Loughlin, who helped apply some of the paint, given the service helped four close family members injured near Collinsville, Nebo and Eungella.
Named ‘Angels of the Sky’ the artwork, painted in the striking signature blue and yellow colours of the rescue choppers that have saved so many, depicts the crew in action.
It is located on Wood Street next to Jeremiah Bullfrog, which is owned by the teenager’s grandmother Margaret Hawkins.
“This rescue service is such a blessing to families in remove communities in a time of dire medical need,” Ms O’Loughlin’s mother Katrina Hawkins said.
“Our family knows this first hand.”
This included one close family member suffering a serious head injury, another breaking his neck in two separate horse falls in recent years and another seriously injured after falling through louvres at a Nebo cattle station in 2003.
While Jeremiah Bullfrog store manager Leanne Reid said her eldest son was flown by the community funded rescue service from the Whitsundays after injuries in neck on a water slide a few years ago.
“It was a late night island pool party and he suffered an injury where he couldn’t move his neck. He had to be flown to Mackay hospital in a neck brace,” Ms Reid said.
“It was very distressing as a parent on holiday with your family, but the crew’s care, compassion and professionalism was very impressive.”
The mural was made possible through a Regional Arts Development Fund grant acknowledging how valuable the service is throughout the region.
Augmented reality had been fused into the mural making it “come to life” with the rotor blades whirring and spinning.
RACQ CQ Rescue covers an area north to Townsville, south to St Lawrence, into the Bowen and Galilee basins and more than 200km offshore.
Brisbane-based artist Jordache Castillejos spent four days working on the project. Paint was donated by Inspirations Paints, Porters and Dulux, while equipment was provided by Kennards Hire. Other local artists involved included Jodie Connolly, Matt and Hannah Izard, Kai Millen and Warwick Hayes.