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Eileen @ The Coalface

Middlemount has seen many faces, those of mining families building lives and those of workers transiently passing through. For the last decade, one of these faces has been unmistakably constant, Eileen Duncan’s. Her story is not just one of residence, but of deep-rooted involvement and leadership.

Eileen moved to Middlemount ten years ago, finding it the perfect place for her passion for fossicking and gem craft.

“Middlemount stood out as the ideal midpoint for my hobbies, and it quickly became home,” Eileen shared.

But her commitment to the town transcends personal interest. Over the years, Eileen has become an active local, from volunteering at the Middlemount Golf Club and the Middlemount Markets, to organising the annual Town Christmas Party.

Her volunteering spirit, sparked by supporting her children’s various activities, from soccer, pony club, aerobics and more, has brought significant benefits to the communities in which they were raised.

“Volunteering has allowed me to support not just my children but the whole community. There’s an incredible satisfaction in watching others enjoy the legacies we help create.”

Among her proudest achievements is the role she played in developing a modest tourism trade in Middlemount and her relentless pursuit over six years to promote the feasibility and finally the development of the Isaac Business Chamber.

“Middlemount needs to start planning now to take up tourism, small businesses, and become a hero destination for people that want to visit, as they say, ‘Come, play, and stay’.”

Eileen’s efforts extend beyond traditional community roles. She has been a pivotal figure in bringing much-needed services and support to those in need, including working with Archie’s Army to provide cuddle quilts to children experiencing sickness, domestic violence, operations, and disadvantage.

“I am currently working with a team to bring regular learn to swim classes to children with disabilities including my grandson who has Charge Syndrome. He is legally blind and deaf and has benefited immensely from these swimming lessons.”

The Isaac Business Chamber, which officially launched last month at the Moranbah Golf Club, stands as a testament to Eileen’s vision and dedication. Celebrated as part of Small Business Month, the launch marked a significant milestone.

“I envision the Isaac Business Chamber as a dynamic force that unites our 17 local communities. It’s about advocating for our businesses, sparking innovation, and ensuring our region is not only known for its natural resources but as a thriving hub of prosperity and resilience.”

As Middlemount navigates the challenges of shifting from a mining-centric economy to a more diversified one, Eileen’s optimism shines through.

“I’m a glass half full optimist and I believe there will be a life after mining. Our town needs to plan now for the development of a sound business community which is able to weather the ups and downs of the financial climate.”

Eileen Duncan’s story is one of genuine commitment and vision, a narrative of nurturing not only a town but also the seeds of its future prosperity.

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