Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford with Barb Adamson who was a force behind the move to a plastic-free Whitsundays. Picture: File
Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford with Barb Adamson who was a force behind the move to a plastic-free Whitsundays. Picture: File File

‘Frank and fearless, she was just the most amazing woman’

BARB Adamson was a champion of causes.

From her love of all things nature to her dedication to helping others in need, she committed her time, energy and spirit to making the world, and the Whitsundays, a better place.

Memories of her fierce commitment to the community are the common threads among tributes shared for Barb, who died in a two-vehicle crash near Mount Julian on Wednesday.

Whitsunday Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford was Barb's friend and described the beloved resident as her "little Jiminy Cricket" who was involved in everything the community had to offer.

From Boomerang Bags to Meals on Wheels and Fauna Rescue Whitsundays, Cr Clifford said Barb was always giving her time to help others.

"She was an amazing woman," Cr Clifford said.

Barb Adamson with volunteers Noelene Helman, Jo Pillifeant and Denise Kemp at the Boomerang Bag launch at Whitsunday Shopping Centre. Picture: Jacob Wilson
Barb Adamson with volunteers Noelene Helman, Jo Pillifeant and Denise Kemp at the Boomerang Bag launch at Whitsunday Shopping Centre. Picture: Jacob Wilson

Cr Clifford fondly remembered Barb's "love for anything wild", which drove her to get up at all hours of the night to feed rescued baby possums.

Barb also championed the campaign to ban plastic bags in the Whitsundays and lobbied the council with a petition that garnered more than 2000 signatures.

She was also a driving force in reopening the Anglicare Low Cost Food Assist Centre in Proserpine, which provides affordable food options for struggling residents.

Beyond Barb's devotion to the community, Cr Clifford fondly recounted her friend's hatred of shoes and her affectionate nickname, "the bag lady", which was an ode to her work with Boomerang Bags.

"She was just an amazing woman, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother and a most cherished friend," Cr Clifford said.

"If I ever wanted anything or needed some insight on something that was going on, Barb was the person that you rang up.

"She'd be frank and fearless, she was just the most amazing woman.

"She was just a little dynamo."

Barb Adamson was a dedicated member of Fauna Rescue Whitsundays. Picture: File
Barb Adamson was a dedicated member of Fauna Rescue Whitsundays. Picture: File File

Airlie Beach Swim Centre owner Annika Grunwald also attested to Barb's boundless energy and devotion to the community.

"She was always on the ball with everything," Ms Grunwald said.

"She put her hand up everywhere she could be."

Barb played a big part in the Airlie Beach Aquatic Reef Club where she taught children about wildlife, often accompanied by a rescue animal she was caring for.

Ms Grunwald said when Barb spoke, every child was enthralled by her stories.

"She had such a strong voice and everyone wanted to listen to her," she said.

"She was awesome, she was incredible."

Boomerang Bags Whitsundays co-ordinator Barb Adamson shows off some of the bags the group has made.
Boomerang Bags Whitsundays co-ordinator Barb Adamson shows off some of the bags the group has made.

On several occasions, Barb volunteered at fundraising barbecues and Ms Grunwald said that was when her brilliant sense of humour was especially apparent.

When Ms Grunwald was crying from the pungent fumes from the onions, Barb happily offered to take over, saying it was "the best bit" and smiling all the way through eight kilograms of produce.

"She always had a nice smile and laugh and she was a very happy person," Ms Grunwald said.

"I'm so happy I met her, I really look up to her.

"Nobody can replace her."

Bystanders rushed to help Barb after the crash on Shute Harbour Rd on Wednesday morning but she sadly died at the scene.