Tough year makes deputy stronger

Faye faced the loss of her hus­band and an elec­tion

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Tobi Loftus

IT HAS been a tough year for North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil deputy mayor Faye Whe­lan.

The di­vi­sion three coun­cil­lor’s year got off to a tragic start with the loss of her hus­band Dan Whe­lan on Jan­uary 23.

“We were a good team for a num­ber of years,” Faye said.

“He was al­ways a good ear to lis­ten when I needed to talk or let off steam... I miss that.

“It was a chal­lenge not hav­ing him there to let off steam to, when some things might make me an­gry.”

Faye said she had to keep busy to get through her loss.

“Though I think I prob­a­bly haven’t fully pro­cessed my loss yet be­cause I have been so busy,” she said.

“These things, they are char­ac­ter build­ing.”

This year was also an elec­tion year for the coun­cil and de­spite a change of mayor and sev­eral other coun­cil­lors, Faye, who had been a coun­cil­lor for 13 years, went un­chal­lenged in her role as the di­vi­sion three coun­cil­lor. She was also re-elected as deputy mayor.

“Learn­ing to work with the new coun­cil­lors was chal­leng­ing,” she said.

“How­ever I’m very happy with the coun­cil I’m now work­ing with, even though I ap­pre­ci­ate the pre­vi­ous coun­cil.”

She said her high­light in the coun­cil for 2016 was fi­nally get­ting some ma­jor road up­grades com­pleted.

“To get the peo­ple ac­tu­ally call­ing me say­ing what a great job our work­force are do­ing, it’s made my life a lot hap­pier,” she said.

“What I’ve strived for for a num­ber of years is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing.”

Be­cause of this, she said she was not yet ready to hang up her coun­cil boots just yet.

“It’s too early to say, but it will de­pend on the Boyne River Bridge,” she said.

“I al­ways said I wasn’t go­ing to re­tire un­til I can achieve a new Boyne River Bridge.”

Faye said she be­lieved she would not have made it through the year with­out the sup­port of her fam­ily.

“The Whe­lan fam­ily, we are like a clan, I al­ways re­fer to my fam­ily as a clan,” she said.

“We work so closely to­gether; we gain strength from one an­other.

“I put my fam­ily and my com­mu­nity be­fore my­self, but in say­ing that, that is what got me through this year.”

She said she also thought of the wider Mun­dub­bera and North Bur­nett com­mu­nity as part of her fam­ily.

“The Mun­dub­bera com­mu­nity is a com­mu­nity of do­ers, of work­ers,” she said.

The Whe­lan fam­ily, we are like a clan... we gain strength from one an­other. — Faye Whe­lan

PHOTO: TOBI LOFTUS

BUSY WOMAN: As well as be­ing deputy mayor, Faye Whe­lan owns the Spin­ning Wheel bou­tique and also the Pots and Posies florist.

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