SINCE 1991 Lesley De Landelles has been dedicated to the wellbeing of her small central Queensland community.
A bush nurse at the Jericho Health Clinic, Lesley has been honoured with the inaugural 2017 RFDS Hero Award.
She was praised for her complete selflessness when it came to delivering the highest level of care to anyone who walked through her door, including from time to time, the odd family pet.
Lesley said the award was a complete surprise.
"I didn't know anything about it,” she said.
"I was in the middle of dealing with a big emergency and a I got a phone call which I thought was QAS.
"It was RFDS, and they said 'you've just won an award'.
"I said, 'you must have the wrong number, I'm waiting for QAS'.
"And that was the first I heard about it.”
Later that day, after the emergency was under control, Lesley was contacted again and reassured that she did, in fact, win an award.
"I couldn't believe it,” she said.
"It has been an incredible experience, it is definitely the highlight of my career.”
The award which was designed to show appreciation to individuals and community groups who have shown incredible support to the Flying Doctor came with a $5000 grant donated on behalf of Ergon Energy Retail.
The grant is to be used by the winner to improve the health outcomes for people living in their community. Lesley said she planned on using the money to help the seniors living in Jericho.
"Our local school is letting the older people in Jericho use its computers to stay in touch with their family friends,” she said.
"Social isolation is a real issue for these people, and by using the $5000 grant I will be able to hire someone to come in and teach these people how to use the technology to reach out and connect with their loved ones.”
But the humble nurse, was quick to turn the praise to RFDS for their work.
"Without the RFDS we would not be able live like we do, in an area like Jericho,” she said.
"... They provide a sense of certainty and hope for a positive outcome.”
Lesley was presented with the award in font of hundreds of guests at the RFDS Wings for Life Gala.