AUSTRALIA: Newspaper Articles

May 2017    ROMANCE LINKING 100 years.

On a cattle station in north-west Queensland, history is repeating itself. In May 1917, Margaret Gillespie, the daughter of a widowed Hughenden publican, won the lease to Kilterry, a station 350 kilometres east of Mount Isa. This year, Claire Downie, also the daughter of a widowed Hughenden publican, has moved to Kilterry and will marry Ms Gillespie’s great-grandson in September.

With just two pubs and a population of about 1,000, the likelihood of such a connection was slim. But for Kilterry’s soon-to-be-bride, it only makes it stronger.

“It kind of seems like we were meant to be, I guess. It gives me goosebumps every time we think about it,” Ms Downie said. “In a very corny way, it definitely seems like destiny.”

Kilterry’s history began with Ms Gillespie, a local Hughenden woman whose family owned the now-demolished Shamrock Hotel. Ms Gillespie was encouraged by her mother to go into the ballot for land, which was unusual for a single woman.

She put her name forward and won the ballot on May 2, 1917. The ballot enabled potential landowners to enter their name in a lottery system, and claim ownership of the land parcel if they followed certain rules. One of the requirements placed on Ms Gillespie was to marry, and two years later she did just that.

She married Percy Lyne, who lived at a neighbouring station outside of Hughenden, in 1919, and the couple moved to Kilterry. It was through this marriage that current owner and mother of the groom, Jeannette Lord, became tied to Kilterry.

Margaret had one child, and she [the child] became my mother-in-law,” Ms Lord said.

It was through this marriage that current owner and mother of the groom, Jeannette Lord, became tied to Kilterry. “Margaret had one child, and she [the child] became my mother-in-law,” Ms Lord said.

Ms Lord married Robert Lord, the grandson of original Kilterry owner Ms Gillespie, in 1978. They had four children, all of whom were brought up on the station.

While the Lord family was aware of the story behind Kilterry, it was not until their youngest son, Bob, got engaged to Ms Downie that further similarities began to emerge.

The 2017 story

Jeannette Lord pictured with her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. PHOTO: Jeannette Lord with her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren.(Supplied: Bob Lord and Claire Downie)

Much like Ms Gillespie, Ms Downie is a Hughenden local whose family owns the town’s two remaining pubs.

“Bob and Claire will get married in September, and history is repeating itself in that Claire’s mother — now a widow — runs the hotels in Hughenden, virtually the same as the Gillespie family,” Ms Lord said.

While initially the couple thought the pub was the only connection, that was just the beginning.

“We found out when we were talking to Mum, and she started to repeat the story,” he said.”The more we delved into it, the more information we found out, and as time went on, it got more and more humorous.”

For me, it feels really quite amazing, considering the massive connection it is,” Ms Downie said.

Ms Lord married Robert Lord, the grandson of original Kilterry owner Ms Gillespie, in 1978. They had four children, all of whom were brought up on the station. While the Lord family was aware of the story behind Kilterry, it was not until their youngest son, Bob, got engaged to Ms Downie that further similarities began to emerge.

The 2017 story

Much like Ms Gillespie, Ms Downie is a Hughenden local whose family owns the town’s two remaining pubs.

Bob and Claire will get married in September, and history is repeating itself in that Claire’s mother — now a widow — runs the hotels in Hughenden, virtually the same as the Gillespie family,” Ms Lord said.

While initially the couple thought the pub was the only connection, that was just the beginning. “Both their dads were named Robert, and both their dads passed away in April 2013 — virtually the same week,” Ms Lord said. Bob Lord said the similarities were difficult to take seriously at first.

“We found out when we were talking to Mum, and she started to repeat the story,” he said. “The more we delved into it, the more information we found out, and as time went on, it got more and more humorous.”

“For me, it feels really quite amazing, considering the massive connection it is,” Ms Downie said.


2017, March  Dr David Gillespie 

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia’s (RDAA) annual politicians’ breakfast has underpinned a concerted ongoing push to attract more doctors and enhanced medical and health services, into regional and remote Australia. Assistant Health Minister Dr David Gillespie said the morning’s breakfast event held at Parliament House in Canberra was the best he’d seen where core issues were lobbied.

He said the strong backing of other ministers and shadow ministers and multiple members of federal parliament at the breakfast briefing showed how important rural health was in eyes of those politicians who represent rural Australia.

Dr Gillespie said the federal government was not giving “false hope” to the RDAA’s current demands on a National Rural Generalist Program and the Coalition had “put money on the table”. The NSW Nationals MP said the government had also announced an integrated rural training pipeline initiative, and put out to tender 30 regional training hubs throughout the country, where rural clinical schools and university departments of rural health, can “buy-into” the post graduate aspects of a medical practitioners’ education.

“We’ve got many fiscal investments in this space and we’ve got many policy drivers,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight but over time we will get many more medical, dental, nursing and all of the other allied health disciplines, re-distributed away from the metropolitan dominance of where all of our health professionals end up.”

Dr McPhee said he was “very much excited” by the opportunities Dr Gillespie and the federal government had afforded, to help enable a National Rural Generalist Program. “I think it will be of tremendous benefit to rural patients and rural communities,” he said. “There’s no doubt that the social capital involved in putting a doctor back in a country town is immense in bridging the gaps, right across rural health.”

Dr Gillespie said rural generalists were doctors trained as general practitioners that also had extra skills to operate in a community and hospital setting. “That involves not just being a jack of all trades but a well-qualified doctor who can cope with the extra problems with the clinical, public health and hospital skills that you need to look after a regional town,” he said.

He said first task of the National Rural Health Commissioner that’s underpinned by current legislation before the federal Senate would be to help define, expand and mature the rural generalists’ pathway, as part of the integrated rural training pipeline that the federal government had announced.

“It’s great that the rural doctors are here advocating with something that aligns with what the Coalition’s policy is working towards,” he said. Dr Gillespie said the rural generalist practitioners – some of which also attended the media conference to back the RDAA’s message – worked in community practices but also looked after accident and emergency, mental health, obstetrics and gynaecology, minor surgery and anaesthesia.

“Health care is a complex mosaic of care and we also need more allied health, nursing, midwifery and dentists out in rural Australia,” he said. “And I in my portfolio, and the Coalition, are totally committed to directing the maldistribution of medical work-force in metropolitan Australia.” The story Rural doctors seek Canberra fix first appeared on Farm Online.


2011, Dec 15, Victoria, Australia

Wheelchair and respirator-dependent JOAN GILLESPIE , age 73, volunteers to help those less fortunate five days a week at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Psychiatry Program with her dog, Charlie, and Korean War Veteran Allan Limburgh. Mr. Limburg said “She comes chuggling in on her wheelchair with her portable respirator and her dog on her lap.” She’s always bright and cheerful and she makes us feel life’s not so bad after all.” After contacting polio as a baby in 1937, Ms Gillespie, who lives in Alphington, lay in a hospital bed for 30 years before portable respiratory technology freed her from confinement to an iron lung. She said her condition helped her emphathise with sick and injured patients, and the war veterans she helped at Austin Health.  Premier Ted Ballileu presented Ms Gillespie and 12 others with Victorian Senior of the Year awards at a ceremont at Government House last week”


2012, Aug 14, AAP, The Australian                            

“Former Army Chief, Lieutenant General KEN GILLESPIE, has joined the Board of Defence Company, Australian Aerospace. This company is a susidiary of Eurocopter, part of the European Aeonautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). It supplies Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters to the army, and MRH-0 transport helicopters to the army and navy.                          (Photo from Archives)

General Gillespie served with the Australian Defense Forces for 43 years, heading the army from 2008 until retiring in 2011.


2013, May 19, The Courier, Victoria, Australia

PETA GILLESPIE                                                 

is the Ballarat Legacy Club’s first female president in its 86 years. She was appointed at the annual general meeting at the Raglan Street Headquarters. Her grandfather was Melbourne Legacy President in 1938, and her father, Greg, was Warmambool President in 1980. Three generations, three Presidents and three Legacy club members. Ms Gillespie said her 12 month role would involve being the public face at Ballarat Legacy, including liasing with Victoria’s other 14 clubs. She spent 30 years with the Education Department as a school business manager before moving to Ballarat as a regional trainer and consultant, joining Legacy in 2005. Since her retirement three years ago, Mrs. Gillespie has ….been involved in a not-for-profit Melbourne organisation that raises funds for disadvantaged and at-risk students.

To be continued….


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