AFTER almost 20 years of raising awareness surrounding suicide and its prevention, Bendigo's Alannah McGregor is close to being recognised for her hard work.
She has been named a finalist in the Fred Hollow's Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award for the state of Victoria.
And Ms McGregor said she was lost for words when she found out she had been nominated.
"I didn't know anyone had thought of nominating me and I was shocked when I found out a few weeks ago," she said.
"It was very humbling, but you don't do this sort of work for recognition."
Ms McGregor lost her daughter Angela and son Stuart to suicide 19 years ago and since then, she has made it her life's mission to make the subject "less taboo".
"This work has always been about the suicide and making sure no one has to go through what we went through," she said.
Ms McGregor has worked with other communities to create a campaign in central Victoria, promoting suicide prevention strategies.
From this, the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network was formed.
She helped establish Safetalk suicide prevention workshops with community groups, while also mentoring funeral directors, health agencies and bereaved families - using her personal experience to help educate others.
Launched this year, the Fred Awards recognise everyday humanitarianism in Australia and celebrate people who care for others in a decent, practical, and no-nonsense way - like Fred did.
After receiving 91 nominations from across the nation, the judging panel - led by founder Gabi Hollows and legendary journalist Ray Martin - has chosen eight finalists.
Ms Hollows urged Australians to vote for their choice for the 2021 Fred Hollows Humanitarian.
"Fred used to say that Australians always look out for each other, and after reading through the nominations, it's heart-warming to see that he was right," she said.
"With everything that's going on in the world, there's no better time to hear about the caring and compassionate people in our communities who are doing their bit to help those in need and put others first.
"I applaud and thank every nominee. Your efforts to help others and better your communities are incredibly inspiring."
You can vote for a winner online at hollows.org/au/fredawards-vote
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