On Tuesday next week, in the small community of Mareeba, west of Cairns, there will be a huge outpouring of community loss and grief at the funeral of Noeline Ikin, a very special woman who has fought for regional Australia to the very end.
Noeline typified the values that regional communities hold dear: honesty, integrity, determination, a willingness to get her hands dirty and absolutely zero tolerance for bureaucracy.
A former Etheridge Shire councillor, Noeline spent 12 years as CEO of the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group and was awarded Etheridge Shire Council's Citizen of the Year in 2016.
As the LNP candidate for Kennedy in the 2013 election Noeline comprehensively won the primary vote against the sitting member, only to miss out due to Labor directing its preferences to Mr Katter.
She was raring to do battle all over again in 2016 and was endorsed as the candidate until she was struck down by diagnosis of a brain tumour. In typical Noeline style, she was a fighter to the end.
Her brother, Warren, said that one of her last sentences in her semiconscious state was 'Bloody government!'.
What an absolute champion, she will be missed right across the north. My deepest condolences to Noeline's husband, Trevor Arnett, to their three beautiful daughters, Kiralee, Gabrielle and Tabitha, to extended family members and everyone who was privileged to call Noeline a friend.