Emotional farewell for loyal community servant
MUNDUBBERA resident and much-loved community servant, Terry Wernecke, is moving on to greener pastures and a new chapter of her life.
Most will remember Mrs Wernecke for the contribution she made to the North Burnett through her wide-ranging role as local area coordinator for the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.
She brought new meaning to the term public servant and, for more than a decade, worked tirelessly to empower individuals with disability to be more involved in their communities and accomplish their goals.
Terry was tasked with assisting people from all walks of life, from birth up to the age of 65.
It was work she enjoyed immensely and said she will forever cherish the friendships made along the way.
"You share life with those people,” Mrs Wernecke said.
"You go through the ups and downs with them and build a very close relationship.
"My view has always been if you don't have that relationship, it makes your work even more difficult.”
Monto resident Amy Jobling, a carer for young sister Junia, who struggles with an intellectual impairment, has been closely involved with Mrs Wernecke for a number of years.
Ms Jobling said the difference Terry had made to the lives of the people she touched through her work had been extraordinary.
"Terry took her job very seriously and was so dedicated, compassionate and professional,” Ms Jobling said.
"That job needed someone like her, someone who was easy to talk to.
"She devoted the last 11 years of her life to the North Burnett.
"She's a beautiful woman and a friend to everyone.”
Mrs Wernecke said the resilience displayed by some people to get the most out of life was truly inspirational.
"The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing people grow and watching families become stronger,” she said.
"A close-knit family network makes day-to-day life manageable and gives people the strength to get through the tough times together.”
Sadly, the rollout of the NDIS will bring her tenure with the department to an end.
It's given Mrs Wernecke a opportunity to take a well-deserved break and recharge the batteries.
After 42 years in Mundubbera, Terry and her husband will move to Toowoomba to be closer to family, and spend time with her new granddaughter.
"It will be difficult for my husband, he's lived here all his life,” she said.
"We've been firmly involved in the North Burnett for quite some time.
"You get a good feel for how the place operates and how they come together in difficult times.
"I'm going to miss the friendliness of the people and being a part of these communities.”