Sarah’s our top woman

ARMIDALE mental health advocate and SANE Australia ambassador Sarah McFarlane-Eagle has been named the Northern Tablelands Woman of the Year.
Ms McFarlane-Eagle, who was the face of last year’s Yellow Pages, was presented her award at Parliament House on Friday.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall was on hand to congratulate her and said he was honoured to nominate her for the award in recognition of her work to promote awareness of mental illness.
“Sarah is among the millions of Australians whose lives have been impacted by mental illness,” Mr Marshall said.
“In her case it was the tragic loss of her brother Ben who disappeared into the bush during a psychotic episode – his body has never found,” he said.
“It is Ben’s memory that inspired Sarah to found her project ’Walking Feat’ and in 2001, 10 months after Ben disappeared, Sarah and Ben’s best friend walked 600km along the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia.
Ms McFarlane-Eagle said it was a surprise to be nominated for the award.
“It is a great honour and even a more wonderful boost to the cause of raising awareness of the stigma and issues surrounding mental illness,” she said.
Ms McFarlane-Eagle recently deferred from her studies at the University of New England and is working for the mental health agency in Armidale, helping people with severe and persistent mental health problems navigate their way through the health system.

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