At just 35 and one of the very small team of Heart of Australia veterans, Dane Corowa reckons he’s “too easy-going” to be labelled as a competitive bloke.
He might be right, but then there are the simple facts that he worked his way up – by early morning starts and back to it in the evenings – as a professional personal trainer through years of tertiary study to ultimately reach his goal of accreditation as a cardiac sonographer.
And in every sense, he’s still doing it – working full-time in Brisbane on the staff of Queensland Cardiovascular Group (QCG) and using accrued holiday and other leave to join our truck-based clinics into the Southwest.
Dane left his Kingscliff (NSW) home and family, including his three sisters to, follow his fascination with fitness and human movement through studies at QUT in Brisbane for his undergraduate science degree and a graduate diploma in cardiac ultrasound.
His key time came when, in his final year of studies, he worked at The Prince Charles Hospital in cardiac investigation – “and I loved it”.
And he’s been doing that now since our kick-off in 2014 – the first sonographer to go on the road with Heart of Australia.
“I’d had no bush experience before Heart of Australia, but (working the truck clinics) I always put my hand up to see the towns. It gives me a buzz and there are so many interesting stories out there”.
And no, he’s not planning to get off our truck anytime soon. “There’s a shortage of sonographers in Australia and I want to help Rolf” – HoA founder and CEO Dr Rolf Gomes.
But what about competitiveness? Dane this month completed a 200klms beach ride, Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay and back – “fat-tyre bikes on the sand; it was tough” – to raise funds for the Stillbirth Foundation and he’s currently preparing for a triathlon, again in support of a charity.
And the worst experience Dane’s had on our truck?
Dane was a passenger, just he and our driver on board – “we had a flat tyre and we were already behind time to get to our next town; there was no mobile phone service in the area … but we changed the wheel (one of 18 on the rig) and we made it”.