Kim Edwards guest speaker at inaugural Roma Commerce and Tourism lunch

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
Updated February 9 2022 - 12:36am, first published February 7 2022 - 2:00am
Roma Commerce and Tourism general manager Debbie Joppich with guest speaker Kim Edwards and Roma Subway franchisee Ruth D'Hennin. Picture: Sally Gall

She describes herself as a 'tri-tragic' and a lover of diving and adventure but Roma's Kim Edwards is apprehensive about what she'll have to do as part of the So Brave team in an upcoming celebrity charity television show.

Ms Edwards, who works as the Maranoa Regional Council's training and development officer, was the guest speaker at the inaugural Roma Commerce and Tourism ladies lunch last Friday.

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When all 40 attendees raised their hand in response to her initial question - how many of them knew of or had relatives or friends with breast cancer - it was a sure sign that her topic was well received.

So Brave is Australia's only breast cancer charity for younger women and Ms Edwards said its empowering and support work had been part of what attracted her interest.

"Since I've been here in Roma I've discovered many women affected, and many of them feel very isolated," she said.

"One, in Year 12, said breast cancer was something you just didn't talk about.

"I'm committed to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and education because I know it will save lives."

Ms Edwards is the only cast member of her Adventure All Stars team not to be a breast cancer survivor under 40.

The incidents of breast cancer among rural young women is significantly higher because of a lack of facilities and diagnostic support in regional Australia, she said.

Each person on the new TV show has to raise $10,000 for their chosen charity before they get flown to a secret location to undertake a number of tasks that take them out of their comfort zone.

While Ms Edwards did her first triathlon at 57 and has run 25 half marathons and one full one, she has a queasy feeling that stunts at great heights will be one of the challenges she will face as part of the show.

Her call for local support at the lunch resulted in three businesses approaching her in relation to sponsorship that will see their name added to the shirt she wears on the show.

The ground-breaking TV project will be broadcast in 25 countries.

The COVID pandemic forced Ms Edwards back to Australia after seven years working in Saudi Arabia, but her energetic outlook has seen her buy and renovate Roma Cottage, the town's first AirBnB offering, and put together the Two Worlds photographic exhibition currently showing at the Injune gallery.

Although saying she's a 'purely amateur' photographer, images taken while working in a Syrian refugee camp won her a United Nations photographic competition, and she said the exhibition captured the contrast between her life in the Middle East and the transition back to Australia.

RCAT general manager Debbie Joppich said they were aiming to have ladies lunches every second month, alternating with learner lunches.

The group is also hosting a Maranoa meet-up on March 4 and is planning a two-day workshop to help locals get their businesses in order so they can tender for work, and to strengthen their marketing message.

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Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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