Queen's Baton Relay Ballarat: heroes named

BIG HONOUR: Monique Ford and Corey Loader are Ballarat's baton bearers. Pictures: Kate Healy and Luke Kauzlaric
BIG HONOUR: Monique Ford and Corey Loader are Ballarat's baton bearers. Pictures: Kate Healy and Luke Kauzlaric

Two of Ballarat City’s hardest working residents have been handed the honour of running in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Blowhard’s Monique Ford and Ballarat’s Corey Loader were chosen after being nominated for their extensive work in the community.

Mrs Ford’s extensive resume of charity work has included taking care of seven foster children in eight years, along with her husband Graeme.

This caring attitude was extended to volunteering with therapy dogs at Ballarat East Geoffrey Cutter nursing home.

Mrs Ford said she has been surprised to learn her daughter had nominated her to carry the baton.

“I am proud, but probably a little bit humbled,” she said.

“I think there are so many people that do so many things (that could have been recognised). I do a few volunteer things.”

Ms Ford currently has two brothers as full time foster children on a long-term basis.

BEAMING: Graeme and Monique Ford. Picture: Kate Healy

BEAMING: Graeme and Monique Ford. Picture: Kate Healy

Her fellow runner Corey, was a generation apart from Mrs Ford, but has already had a huge impact on his community.

The 16-year-old Venturer Scout, who has autism, attends Ballarat Specialist School at Lake Gardens.

He now has a busy schedule, having completed more than 300 hours of community service to earn his Scout Medallion, the highest honour awarded in the organisation.

Now he has started work on earning the Queen’s Scout Medallion, another high honour.

This work has included washing dishes for community events, helping to cater at a dinner for 100 students and serving coffee at all-abilities footy days.

The charity effort has been balanced with his study and work to become a writer.

Corey’s mother Carol Loader said he was working as an associate producer at Kryal Castle to gain experience.

”The scout medals have taken hours of voluntary work, written work and self-improvement,” she said.

“He has been on camps that are all about teamwork as well.

“The main aim is to become a script writer, drama is his thing.”

SET TO RUN: Corey Loader is ready to carry the torch. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

SET TO RUN: Corey Loader is ready to carry the torch. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Both Corey and Mrs Ford are yet to be told where the relay will take place in Ballarat, or exactly how far they will carry the torch.

They will be joined on the Ballarat leg by Olympians Jared Tallent and Steve Moneghetti.

Cyclists Shane Kelly will join the relay for its Ararat leg.

Mrs Loader said there was still a lot to be revealed about what was ahead for Corey.

“Corey had to keep it all quiet until he was allowed to tell people,” she said.

“We asked not to tell anyone until it had been officially announced.”