HAPPIER TIMES: Kathy Duff with former partner, Jamie Mackenzie.
HAPPIER TIMES: Kathy Duff with former partner, Jamie Mackenzie. Contributed

How Jamie's legacy is living on in the community

THE death of Jamie Mackenzie four years ago rocked the communities of both the Southern Downs where he worked as a councillor, and the South Burnett.

No one was more affected than Cr Mackenzie's former partner and South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.

But she has ensured something good has been able to come about in the wake of his death.

Through the sale of Cr Mackenzie's various properties, Cr Duff received 10 per cent of his inheritance which amounted to $88,000.

She was adamant that the money should be used for the betterment of the community and she has generously donated the entire amount to community projects in the South Burnett.

"I wanted to use the money I received to do something that would be a legacy to Jamie and to raise awareness of some of the issues facing struggling rural communities," Cr Duff said.

The charitable councillor donated $28,000 of the inheritance to the Proston Men's Shed.

"Proston is a small country town similar to Killarney where Jamie grew up," Cr Duff said.

The remaining $60,000 will be donated to a Proston community group to purchase seven of the shops in the main street.

"Small rural towns are struggling to survive because they rely on the success of farmers around them," Cr Duff said.

"When the farmers are doing it tough, rural towns are doing it tough, so hopefully this community group can give Proston a real boost."

Cr Duff said her former partner was a councillor with passion for the community and she knew donating the money to these groups was the right thing to do.

"I know Jamie would be as pleased as I am to know that his inheritance will be used to help rural men and a rural community," she said.

"I hope that by speaking out about what I experienced through my time with Jamie, that I can help in some small way to raise awareness of some of the issues surrounding rural suicides."