We greatly appreciate the tributes honouring the selfless contribution Dr June made to the lives of so many.
My name is Maureen Cummings - one of the intrepid 6 starting to climb Kili in the morning. . .
Anyhow I have another entry for the website. It has been the hardest one for me to put together but here goes – it’s a postcard, which I’ve given to Anne
Emotions are running high
Adrenalin is in overdrive
My whole body is tingling with excitement, yet feels like jelly
An overwhelming feeling with the sadness of losing you is in my core
Alas seven of us will rise to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro
We know it’s going to be tough, but when the going gets tough the tough get going!
It will be an exhilaratingh, yet sad feeling when we finally reach the summit
And a huge relief that your mission is complete.
Your memory lives on
I miss you heaps
Our darling June , you will always be remembered forever. . .
Janet & Geoff xx
I had a friend…
who loved RED wine, good champagne, and helping
people… who would ring at 10.30pm at night and ask
“whats for dinner, I’ll bring the RED”
…and many hours later would leave…having discussed deeply anything,
watched the Tour de France, or challenging me about life
I had a friend …
who would question…and push boundaries, particularly
within the medical profession to achieve good for her patient
….who had my medical records sent to her in Switzerland,
recommended a surgeon, and flew home to assist in the operation
….who saved my life
I had a friend ….
who insisted at our age we should strive for good health &
….who challenged me to climb Mt Coolum – often!!
I had a friend…
who would toot Pepper, my dog and I walking along the river
first thing in the morning
…who would leave the back door of the surgery open so she
have her doggie cuddle before she started her busy day
I had a friend …
who ‘got me into places” – other than trouble, I would never
….who invited me to participate in the International Olympic
Committee Womens Olympic Delegates conference at the
IOC in Switzerland
..who whilst in Switzerland ‘said lets go for a walk’
….up a Glazier – 51/2 hours later returning to base..
I had a friend…
who stealthily drove her unregistered brand new Audi sports
To my house in the middle of the night and put it in my
Garage…and then went overseas for 2 months..
… who took the keys!!!
I had a friend..
who was a gift to all who knew her.
My friend was Dr June Canavan….
Rest well my friend…with the understanding that you are sorely missed!!
You were such a thoughtful and caring person giving so much of your time for others. . .
Well! Where do I begin?
You were such a thoughtful and caring person giving so much of your time for others, no matter what time of the day or night, you would always take that little bit of extra time to show how much you cared about what you were doing and your patients. You had the heart and patience of an Angel
You have always been so warm and willing to share and you have always given so much of yourself and you always spoke from the heart, which made us feel completely at ease, that is why you are so very special. You were someone that we could always count on to be there.
A sincere and heartful thank you for everything that you have ever done for me, I could not have coped without you. You were not only a Doctor to me but a friend as well. You were just so special in a million different ways. You were taken way too soon. I will remember you always and words cannot express how much I miss you every day.
Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to send my thoughts in memory of Dr June. . .
As a paralympic swimmer I have been a patient of Junes for many years. . .
I have had the privilege to be her neighbour-twice! I first met her as a child, when she was our neighbour on Kiel Mountain Road. Then when I moved out of home, her surgery was literally next door.
Fortunately, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I had an injury requiring a visit to a sports doctor. When I did I went immediately to June- who fitted me in even though she didn’t really have time, and made sure I was seen by the top specialists. When I was training for the Beijing Paralympic Games I got an infected ulcer on my foot, that was keeping me out of the pool. She saw me literally daily until I could swim again. What impressed me most about June was that every patient was important to her, and she knew us athletes just wanted to get back into training.
It amazed me that,busy as she was, June managed to follow the careersof her athletes.No one was more suprised than me when, one day while I was on a skiing holiday at Perisher someone whizzed by me as shouted out ‘congrats’ on a recent swim meet I’d been in- it was none other than Dr June in her fluro and white ski jumpsuit!
I learned the sad news about the plane crash while in Tasmania, competing at the national short course swimming championships. The day before I had asked for a dr, expecting June to be on pooldeck- as always. But she was on a rare holiday-which turned out to be her ill fated trip to kokoda.The swimming community has lost a wonderful doctor who will be hard to replace.
The last time I spoke to June, it was on a weekend in her surgery and she had come in especially to see me. I asked her when she was going to retire, or take some time out for herself to do the things she loved, like playing squash or gardening. “It would be nice but I can’t retire, she said. The older I get, the more I learn and the more people I can help!” Perhaps we can take comfort from the fact that she did help people right to the very end, just like she wanted to, and now will continue to help through her legacy of fundraising for the School of St Judes.
My account of June is a personal one, gleaned over the last 20 years or so of having known her. . .
Indeed, some of my fondest memories of June over the last 20 years were of being an honoured guest at some of her legendary dinner parties – sometimes formal or sombre, always engaging, often raucous! June’s home was like a haven, a sanctuary from the scrutiny of the outside world. It was here that people would come together for conversation, laughter and fun.
Not only would June prepare and cook restaurant quality meals for her guests, she also provided unique forms of entertainment – dressing up was a favourite (all manner of costumes were often on the cards), there were murder parties, piano evenings, table tennis competitions, jazz singing, dancing in the kitchen and those special themed evenings – who could forget “Ballads to Bonobos”?
And if you happened to be very fortunate, you may have even witnessed the doc dust off her precious piano accordion and play it loud and proud, often with a fox fur wrapped about her shoulders, or join with her in marching to a Sousa tune up her hallway and into her backyard (especially after imbibing in copious amounts of Moet champagne or good red wine).
What beloved memories. June had a way of bringing together diverse people from all walks of life and drawing them into the folds of a shared experience. This enriched her own world I think, and without doubt, it enriched the world of those lucky enough to share these precious times with her.
June was supportive of the young, compassionate with the hurting and gentle and understanding with the aging, for she knew that one day, we would all be one of these.
June lived life! She taught us how to embrace it, to live fully and to not waste a precious second. She’d often say to me that at the end of her days, she wanted no regrets, and apart from sipping Moet champagne until her very last breath, wanted to be sure that she had loved unashamedly those special in her heart, accomplished her life goals and dreams and squeezed every last drop out of every moment.
She was an indomitable spirit, a mentor to so many, a confidante, a role model – my friend. The world has truly lost a very special and remarkable human being – but June’s legacy will live on in our hearts through the difference she made to each and every one of our lives. We are all the richer for having known her. I will miss her deeply.
The world has lost a truly remarkable woman with the death of June Canavan. . .
However, it was the amazing rapport that she established with my wife Stephanie that really showed what a caring and extremely special person June was. Stephanie had been told by many so called “specialists” that as a result of her arthritis, she would not be ablt to continue with her running and that she should just forget about any form of serious exercise and simply accept the inevitable. June soon dispelled this negative approach and spent many months working on a program with Steph, refusing to give up on her aim to get her back running again. Both June and Steph were determined to beat this condition and as a result of June’s expertise, caring and support and Steph’s determination, Steph not only got back on the road, she ran her first Marathon at the Gold Coast in July 1998 and followed this up with the Auckland Marathon three months later and is still running today.
Ian and Stephanie Liddell, Fig Tree Pocket
Our thoughts are with all who are sharing this terrible loss. . .
One jealous mountain
Chose to claim
Its snatch of fame
And leave us all
Our thoughts are with all who are sharing this terrible loss.
Chris and Lynne
I feel devastated by the untimely death of June. . .
I met June over 20 years ago when she initiated and was the driving force behind our active sports medicine group. As a physiotherapist, I have valued sharing many of her patients and have always admired her commitment and tenacity in seeking an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for her patients.
June’s expertise, her care for her patients, her generosity of spirit and her sense of fun and excitement, shone through. Her capacity to extend herself for others knew no bounds.
June was inspirational. Her legacy will live on.
June, you have been such an inspirational mentor, teacher, friend, doctor and colleague. . .
About sport (aka Life) DON’T just do it … Do it with passion, courage, curiosity, love, laughter, a friend, a firm belief that you can … and a glass of red(!)
About medicine … Healing begins with a compassionate heart, open mind, willing ear, desire to ease suffering, belief in our innate ability to heal, and the gift of hope … the things we knew before medical school.
About Problems and Complaining … with-in every problem is the exciting potential of a puzzle waiting to be solved… there is no time to complain whilst there are exciting problems to be solved… within every problem.. etc. etc.
About Myself … the limits in my life were set by me
About Humanity … every person is a sacred place, has a story to tell, a valid and unique suffering, and an ability to heal. That even ‘great’ people have their weaknesses, but with courage, good will and a big heart there is an enormous capacity to love, heal and positively touch the lives of so many, long after our moment has passed.
Thank-you June, for your wisdom, caring, enthusiasm, humanity and insatiable desire to make life better.
Your legacy will live on in our hearts always.
Dr Kristen Riley and family
My son was a patient of Dr June, he is a professional athlete. . .
The hope, insight, confidence and wisdom Dr June gave to him, is priceless.
He admired and respected her very highly.
Her kind and encouraging words will never be forgotten and always treasured.
It is with real sadness we say goodbye to a very special person.
Memories of dear June. . .
Who could count the numbers of lives you’ve affected. I’ve known you for 24 years, and we worked out we crossed each other’s path through Uni contacts before that…. A long time…..
I remember how much you loved music and attended my Jazz shows at the Blue Note Jazz Bar, the Hyatt, Sheraton, or the dreaded Ridge in Brisbane whenever you could, and attending my own students show case concerts in funny halls around the Coast…even after long days and hospital rounds just to support me, and my voice students.
I remember you getting me up early in the morning literally dragging me out and making me run along the track by the Maroochy river…in an attempt to make me ‘fit’. Well, you ran…. I kind of walked fast ! ……and as you ran backwards encouraging me to keep up, you laughed and told me that the only muscles in my body working properly were my vocal tract muscles ! You constantly encouraged me to be brave, and strong.
The wonderful soirees at your place, with jazz nights, Australia day sing-alongs, which went into nights… Me performing and writing dumb ditties for you to sing….and Dr. Clare playing your piano…. Or me playing the keyboard…You loved it all.. Great little dancer and marching girl !!
A delight, amazing, innovative and brave.
You changed my life.
Lyn Gillett Melbourne, formerly Sunshine Coast.
Lets celebrate the life of a selfless, caring heart abruptly taken away from us in line of duty. . .
You put a big smile on so many faces that the legacy will leave forever and its good to know that they will continue smiling long since you are gone.
Bravo to all those keeping your candle burning and may their efforts be morethan trebbled.
Dr Taka ( never met Dr June but impressed by her charity work)
Sunshine, a rainbow, a warm hug, a joke – all the things in life that make you smile – that’s what you did Dr June. . .
What started as a dr/patient/mother relationship turned into a friendship and later, you became a mentor for my daughter Emma, tucking her under your wing and guiding her. Your kindness, compassion, perseverance, determination, friendship, expertise will never be forgotten. – the list could go on. Nothing was ever too much for you, no matter where you were in the world. Your enthusiasm for everything life offered you was never ending.
I don’t think you ever knew how much you were loved and how many hearts you touched. How many lives did you turn around for the better ?
You created miracles every day.
You seized every moment, lived your life from your heart – shared with others from your heart.
The world is a better place because you were in it. We were so lucky that you were a part of our life. Thankyou for that. We will miss you so very much. We hope you are at peace.
There are some amongst us on this earth who manage to leave everything a little better than it was before. That was you – Beautiful you Dr June.
You will remain in our hearts forever
Lou and Emma
The news, the shock, the disbelief and then the reality that someone so dear and caring to all those around her has faced such an untimely end in this life. . .
Your caring nature and zest for life will be greatly missed but fond memories will remain forever.
My deepest sympathy to Anne her family and close colleagues.
Like many others I first met June as one of her patients. . .
Everywhere I look I see you there, I close my eyes and I see your face. Dear June. . .
Everywhere I look I see you there, I close my eyes and I see your face. My mind wanders back over thirty years to all those wonderful times we shared, the fun and laughter. But then reality strikes and grief overcomes me. I cry again and I see your face. How can you be taken from us so suddenly?
I think of all the people that you have helped and how you seemed to make time for all of us.
There is comfort in the huge numbers of people who have paid tribute to your goodness. There is no doubt that you have passed a little of your inspirational manner on to others. Your passion for helping other lives on. It is growing in strength by your example.
Your presence will remain part on me always.
Together with Cappur and our family I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to Anne and all of June’s extended family.
How great is our loss.
Col and I were devastated to hear the news about June. . .
We will never forget you, Dr June.
Louise and Col Williams
A Daughter of choice - A friendship which transcended the ages. . .
I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.” Ralph Waldo Emerson in Essay on Friendship
Many years ago our parents Jean and Howard Marks were blessed to meet a young aspiring student named June Canavan. A friendship was formed which transcended the ages, with June in her early 20s and our parents many years her senior. Our parents were well established members of the Wangaratta community, with our father Howard a General Medical Practitioner and our mother Jean fully immersed in community activities.
As June pursued her medical studies and her many sporting activities she still found time to build a firm and lasting friendship with Jean and Howard and they in turn came to regard her, and to introduce her to all, as ‘their other daughter’. We came to know her as well and soon understood what special qualities she possessed and the loyalty and love that she shared with our parents. She was with us soon after our Mother died and provided support and comfort to us at that time, while also sharing in our grief.
It seems beyond comprehension that June should meet such an untimely death, but in characteristic style she reached this ‘peak’ in her life while tirelessly sharing of herself and doing good work for others less fortunate and less able than herself. Her selfless dedication to her profession, her patients, her family and friends, and to the whole world community is the legacy that she leaves to us all.
June will be greatly missed as a much loved member of ‘our family’. We recognise that our sense of loss is no measure of the depth of loss felt by her birth family and other loved ones and we extend our sincere condolences to them at this very sad time.
Sue and Helen Marks
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. . .
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
You will forever remain in my heart.
Your tragic death is a major loss to the sports medicine world. . .
Your tragic death is a major loss to the sports medicine world. You have been a professional mentor and friend to me since my interest in sport psychology was in its infancy. I have learnt so much from you over the last decade and I am sure I will continue to look for your advice and sing your praises long after your living days. There is no one in our profession quite like you – your stubborn tenacity and relentless pursuit to help everyone you treat is unique. You are already deeply missed. I hope that the MNC team and I can continue to work with the same passion and dedication towards our clients that you contagiously demonstrated to all of us who worked with you at the Sunshine Coast Sports Medicine Clinic.
Thank you June. You will always be a special person in my life.
June was a remarkable human who understood the bigger picture - that life is not just about what we can get but what we can give. . .
We admire her commitment to the Tanzania project and will be donating to help see her legacy continue. But her attitudes and beliefs regarding the value of service to others was evident in more than just this particular project. It was who she was as a person.
We were both patients of June’s. We’d have to say that June offered us successful diagnosis, advice and encouragement where other doctors had failed. She did this repeatedly and was determined to help us. And where other doctors would tell us to to dis-continue exercise (the very thing we love), June would say that there was no evidence to support that view and that we should keep exercising. Right or wrong, we loved her for that.
Her death is a reminder to us of some of these lessons. That life is short. Go for it. That we should make the most of every precious moment – regardless of setbacks. We should encourage others. We should help others.
We will miss her and the world was a much kinder place because of Dr June Canavan.
Thankyou June and God Bless you.
Diane Boeyen and Ross Phillips
I am grateful and privileged to have known you. . .
I was devastated and shocked to hear the news of Dr. June. . .
We had the greatest fortune to meet you 26 years ago when you came to my parents aid in the early hours of the morning at Nambour Hospital after their near fatal car accident. . .
We had the greatest fortune to meet you 26 years ago when you came to my parents aid in the early hours of the morning at Nambour Hospital after their near fatal car accident. Since that day in October 1983 you have been our wonderful caring doctor and treasured family friend. Your generous invitation to call you anytime with any worries on your mobile or home number was not taken lightly but was so reassuring. I remember once wondering whether I should disturb you on a Sunday. I felt bad when you sounded sleepy on answering your mobile but you brushed off any apologies and gave me the advice I needed saying “bring your mother in to see me next week when I’m back from Europe”. It was then I realised that it was actually about 2am where you were.
We will never forget your loving care of Ian through his terminal illness. Your daily home visits allowed him to die, as he wished, at home and provided so much support to the rest of us. Since then you have cared lovingly for my mother through her intermittent health crises getting poor Elaine or Renae to squeeze her in when there was no room in your busy day to do so. You brought Sebastian through his ordeal with cancer and made Mark view a visit to the doctor not as an ordeal but as the greatest treat. We were glad we were also able to do at least something for you-helping to look after for your beloved Bassie until he died in our care at 21 years of age.
We have enjoyed your friendship and hearing about all your adventures. You showed us the meaning of ”seize the day.” We share the sorrow of losing you with all your friends and loved ones but you will live on in our hearts and will never be forgotten.
With all our love,
Annabel, Sebastian, Mark and Margaret.
Like so many others, we too are devastated by the loss of such a remarkable woman. Dr June gave us hope. . .
Kerri and Kate Dimou
June,I am so blessed and proud to have known you. . .
You were so inspiring in everything you did, thank you for our great tennis nights and our social drinks RIP,
After knowing June for over 20years as a friend. . .
Her ability to squeeze in every second of every day and be productive long into each evening is testament to the wonderful person she was. She left no stone unturned in diagnosing and follow up treatments for every single patient.
The release of energy for her was often having a game of squash (as long as the achilles wasn’t bothering her too much), a good red wine or two and countless friends who would visit, stay for a while or ring to say hello.
Her love of animals – cats and orangoutangs in particular displayed her gentle side to all creatures. I know of no other cat (other than Sebastian & my cat) who was so well cared for.
Her love of cards and how she always proudly displayed them at home and in the office has always sent a strong message to me of how many people June was in contact with. Her joy of receiving them was clearly shown in her beaming face and her gracious “thank you”.
Working through the “elite” world of sport is no mean feat, but June did this effortlessly with great success with each athlete. Having touched the Olympic, Triathlon, Swimming, Medical Ferternity, Sunshine Coast & Australia families alike there are countless people struggling to come to grips that we will never see our friend again.
For myself I am at a loss to know which way to turn. After a friend passes on so quickly without a chance to say goodbye it’s life shattering and a part of me is gone forever with June.
In 3weeks and 6 days time I am due to race in the World Triathlon Chps. on the Gold Coast. June was coming to the event to watch many of her friends compete. After not running (on land) for the best part of four months (by the time the race comes around) it will be tough, but I have always been aiming high and hopefully will be able to complete what June and I set out to do. I know June would be happy with whatever happens, but I now have another reason to be the best I possibly can.
To all of June’s family, extended family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances – may her strength help to heal us, may her warmth shine through us each day and may her positive attitude enable us to look forward and remember the good times we all shared with her.
The world has lost a precious person, but we were lucky enough to be privilaged to know her
with Kind regards
I first met June 40 years ago when we Ozzies were both living in Dunedin. . .
I attach a photo of June and I on my last visit to Keil Mountain, with Pene the Penguin, in 2007.
My thoughts are with all of June’s friends and family at this time.
Muriel C Brown
Despite all we've seen and done in our own medical lives, it's moments like this where we all sit back and wonder what life is all about. . .
Russell Wiseman, Sunshine Coast.
Words cannot express our pain at the loss of Dr June. It makes us realize how much she gave and gave. . .
John, Vicki & Tessa Wallace
June, nearly 10 years ago you started out as my boss, within a short period of time you were also a true friend to me and my family. . .
The sudden tragic death of Dr June Canavan was a deep shock to the medical community on the Sunshine Coast. . .
June worked tirelessly, and frequently after hours, and had a reputation of leaving no stone unturned in order to reach a correct diagnosis or to institute the best possible treatment program. Her greatest contribution to medicine was in the field of elite sports medicine which was her real passion, and June was very highly regarded in this field. June had a particular understanding of the connection between emotional health and disease, and her patients, including injured athletes, were greatly appreciative of this insight.
June’s work is an inspiration to all members of the medical profession.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends.
Dr Andrew Southee, President Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association
Like so many folk June has been an important person in my life-this is not a message as such but a request. . .
I live in central Queensland and have lost touch with a lot of the friends that June and I shared over the years I wonder if you would be so kind as to let me know when June’s memorial service/funeral will be held and where it will be held
I had the pleasure of first meeting Doctor June on her inaugural Australian Swim Team in 1999, Mallorca. . .
Her unrelenting dedication and determination to get to the bottom of her patients’ aliments was so encouraging, and her efforts and confidence she installed in those that others had given up on long before, is a testament to just how special the Doc is.
I am only 1 of many 1000’s that was touched by the Doc’s compassion and selflessness. Her legend will live on the all of those that she knew.
To her close family and friends, my thoughts are with you at this time.
June Canavan listened when everyone else found it too hard. . .
To her family my deepest condolences. Your lost is huge. Her legacy lives on in her many friends, colleagues, patients and in all the people inspired by her talks. June will forever be in our hearts and her high standards a beacon for all in the medical profession to aspire to.
Thank you June for giving me back my life. I so wish God had spared yours’ .
I was totally devastated to hear of this tragic loss. . .
I have had the great pleasure of working along side of June, starting back many
years ago at a few Mooloolaba Tri’s. I learnt so much from listening to her, what to
look out for etc, when the athletes would finish each event, you could just follow her around
all day and learn so much. Even when I had been a patient of yours you kept teaching, that style of teaching
I now try to use in my profession with my Nursing students.
Thank you June for sharing your knowledge and experiences. I will never forget your smile and enthusiasm for life. Knowing you has taught me so much in my professional life as well as my personal life.
Thanks again June , will be terribly missed but never forgotten.
Dr June was a wonderful lady she made our day when she came and talked to us Dr June always did good deeds for others. . .
June was a wonderful, compassionate, selfless person who could spin my world in the palm of her hand. . .
Thank you June for your wisdom, inspiration and unwavering support. My family and I are eternally grateful and forever in your debt.
My sister was in the same level as June at Wangaratta High in the 60’s and I was a year below. . .
It was with great shock when I first saw that June was in the tragic crash at Kokoda. Deepest sympathy to her sisters and their families , and to all her friends and patients on the Sunshine Coast.
I hope that her dreams are achieved by all her supporters and can raise money for St. Judes.
I had the privilege of working alongside Dr June with both the QLD and Australian swimming teams. . .
God bless June!
Pastor Tony Scown
My husband and I were devastated to hear of June's untimely passing. . .
June has been a friend/doctor to us both for over 20 years, and we will miss her warm smile and professionalism. She has been an inspiration for so many people from so many different walks of life, and the Sunshine Coast will never been the same without her passion and compassion.
We send our condolences to her family and all the staff at her practice, vale June we miss you!
We would like to be part of any fund raising that may be occurring at some stage in the future.
Bob and Marienne
We have known June for a very long time now. . .
And, in common with so many other fortunate people, she started off as our doctor and became a treasured friend. We are just plain numb to think that she has moved on from our lives in this way.
June, you have been an inspiration to us all. You have been the solid rock supporting Miriam throughout her womanly journey through life. You have tirelessly and cheerfully given her your time whenever she needed you, and this while doing the same for so many other lucky people throughout the world.
When I broke my neck in a motorcycle accident last year, you were again the rock of reassurance for Miriam, recommending and arranging the very best care for me once back in Brisbane. I no longer ride the Harley, preferring rather to get back into bush walking with a passion. Both decisions receiving your absolute approval!
When we last spoke, you thought that your busy schedule might allow us to climb Mt Barney together next month. Sadly, that will now not be possible, yet you will be remembered all the way to not only that summit, but on all future climbs throughout our walk of life.
We will miss your radiant and infectious smile, your professional reassurance, your wise counsel, your caring friendship. You have touched our lives in an unforgettable way. Your choice of vin rouge was impeccable. Your company delightful and engaging. We have been blessed and privileged to know you.
You will remain in our hearts forever.
Barry and Miriam Collins
I have known June for 36 years. . .
We met at orientation week of First Year Medicine of UQ. She was a little older than us…we were 17 and June was 24, so we called her Aunty June. She liked this, but June was always young at heart.
We were constant companions at medical school, played bridge together, laughed togther and cried together. But June cried more than the rest of us – she felt people’s pain more intensely, expressed herself more strongly, always stood up for the underdog, was never cruel and was always there to help.
She became a brilliant and devoted doctor. She epitomised the ideal physician – caring, intelligent, scrupulously ethical and determined to help. She was devoted to her patients, who all seemed to be her best friends. She would call me when she referred me a new cardiac patient….and say “Con, This is a lovely guy (or gal), we’ve just got to get him (or her) better.” She insisted on success, and her patients loved her for it.
As well as being a superb sports physician, she was an eilte athlete herself and was always beating men of half her age at squash.She had sustained terrible achilles tendon injuries, and had required open heart surgery three years ago. Despite this, and the dangers and pain involved she was committed to St Jude’s School, and told us all of the plans for the 5K’s project. We all secretly knew June could do it….June’s heart was invincible….but we were still worried for her.
Of the 220 amazing people graduating in medicine in 1979, June was the best of us. She did not get the highest marks, was not the smartest or the most technically adept, but she was the purest of heart. She remained so.
June will always be flying high, climbing mountains, helping others.
She is an inspiration to us all to do better.
Con Aroney and family
June, so full of life and energy, a true force for good in this world. . .
Judith Safford (Executive Director, UIAA, International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation)
June really was one in a million. I met her 14 years ago & we were friends & colleagues ever since. She saved my mother’s life. She helped me in the battle for mine.
She inspired you to do better.
Try harder. Believe your patients.
Ask “why” & don’t give up until you know the answer.
Never give up on people….they need someone to believe in them & act in their interests.
Look for challenges.
Drink red wine… even if it makes your Achilles pain worse!
Make time to play.
Enjoy your friends.
Love your life.
Thank you June…. words are not enough; they never were.
With my love, & that of my family who loved you too.
I like Nancy went to school with June & remember her as a great athelete. . .
You have shaped my life in so many ways. . .
You have shaped my life in so many ways. You blessed me with your relentless efforts to ensure that I was in top physical health and I never missed a tournament under your watch. You and Peter reconstructed my left knee and you alone fixed my “unfixable” right knee. I remember you saying to me “I was lying in bed last night thinking how I am going to fix your knee, and I think I’ve figured it out”. You are the busiest person I have ever known, yet you always had time for me. You have guided me through so many problems and always led by example. You have helped me to find happiness with my partner, success in my sport and inspired me with your many academic achievements. You are my role model, you have changed my life, and I will never forget the many, many wise words you have spoken to me. You truly are “one of a kind” and you will forever be in my thoughts guiding me.
May Gods' Love and Blessings go to Dr. June. . .
What a tragic and great loss to all.
Like everyone else Dr June went from Doctor to friend and family member over the past 20 or so years. . .
Yasna Hawthorne (nee Prpic)
I first met June at the Royal Childrens Hospital so many years ago. . .
Whilst of late I had lost touch (moved from the coast) June was one of those people that you meet in your life that when you run into them again its like you have never been away…” Friends are like angels you dont always have to see them to know they are there”‘ June had a big impact on my Life when I was young ,she was always so motivated and interested in you as an individual and so inspiring….June touched many different people for many different reasons and gave hope and comfort to those who needed it….I think one of June”s greatest skills and attributes was that she would take time to listen… a trait we don’t often see in the profession today….
I send my love and hugs and Gods blessings to June”s family and partner during this most difficult time.
Thankyou Dr June Canavan for being a truly amazing person.
May you find the peace and love which you truly deserve on your journey from this world to the next.
Until we meet again.
Suzanne Ashton (Schloss) Stephen Ashton, Danny Ashton
We met June in 1990 when I had a little known medical condition. . .
Then, 5 years later, she saved my husband’s life when she refused to accept the negative result of tests and persisted until she found the cause.
We have so much to thank her for, and yes, we too had the sharp end of her tongue when we didn’t call her at home with a problem and was asked ” why do you think I gave you my home number? “
We will miss you June and the tears and laughter we shared, not to mention the gin and tonics and the odd glass or two of red!! God Bless
Judy and John Tait
I have been a patient of Dr. Canavan for around six years having retired to the Sunshine Coast. . .
I went to Wangaratta High with June. We started the same year. . .
In the early 70’s I well remember a fiesty young med student who moved in next door to us in Brisbane. . .
I had the honour of knowing June for over 20 years and no one person has had more impact than she did. . .
Dr June visited our class last term and we feel very privileged to have met her. . .
From the students in 6TS at St Thomas’s School, Mareeba, Far North Queensland
I had never met Dr June but knew of her brilliant medical tenacity when a friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer. . .
R.I.P. to a wonderful lady You WILL be sorely missed. and always remain one of the brightest stars in the night sky
It is with great sadness that I write this short tribute to a great Australian. . .
It is with great sadness that I write this short tribute to a great Australian.
Dr June was best known for her tireless work as a sports medicine specialist working with Queensland and Australian athletes. For over ten years she gave her time and her expertise to Queensland swimmers and helped countless athletes achieve their best in the gruelling world of elite sport. Regularly when I would visit her practice in Maroochydore, there were athletes from the four corners of this vast country – some household names, others doing all they could to achieve at the highest level in their chosen sport. They were there to see June not merely for her outstanding capability as a sport physician but to benefit and draw on her strength, compassion and understanding. They would share the waiting room with the local residents of all ages who had found an exceptional GP in June.
In 2005, at the time of the release of “Not for Service” Report June rang me and said she would do whatever she could to support the messages from the report about the woeful state of mental health services in Australia. She had numerous first hand experiences of helping patients and their families and managing serious episodes of mental illness with little or no access to acute care services. She was there 24/7 for those who needed her.
She died doing what she loved to do – helping those less fortunate..
When I met June over a decade ago, she was the first sports medicine expert who understood the serious risks and consequences that comes with participation in elite sport from a mental health perspective. The relentless training regimes, the immense expectations of others and some coaching methods that pushed some athletes into ‘burn-out’, chronic fatigue, and depression or other mental health problems. She went on and did the first study in the world on the impact of elite sport on the mental health of athletes. She enrolled in 2007 at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (at the tender age of 57) to do a doctorate on this topic. In 2008, she worked with the Mental Health Council of Aust. and me in running a the first ever workshop for sports medical and administrative staff on mental health and elite sport. June was a pioneer on the relationship between elite sport and mental health and she helped countless athletes back to good health.
Nothing was ever too difficult for June. She will always be an inspiration to me and no doubt many others. Our thoughts and support go to her partner, Anne, and her family at this time of grief.
Dearest June, we first met over 23 years ago, we became fast friends, sharing family and passions. . .
You scared the hell out of me with all your advertures and challenges, you said I should understand as we were both Geminii. You used to drive us crazy with the hours you phoned us, from some of the craziest places on earth. Your smile is imbedded in my memory and my heart. We will mourn you dear friend, but we will also never, ever forget your love of life and your compassion and your gentleness. God be with you, your spirit is with us.
Love you dear friend.
Linda Holland.and family
My name is Lorraine Griffiths and I am privileged to be Dr June's big sister. . .
On behalf of our family I thank you all for your tributes to this brilliant, amazing, gracious, compassionate and dedicated individual who has touched the lives and hearts of so many.
Our family will never be the same without our Aunty June, “The Doc”.
Fund raising has started in Wangaratta Victoria where she grew up and went to school and was also held in high regard being the guest speaker at our local High School 100 years reunion this year.
The Premier Anna Bligh has personally spoken to me this evening and conveyed her symathy to all her family, friends and colleagues and stated that Queensland has lost a truly remarkable, talented and dedicated doctor and a great inspiration to all Australians.
Many years have passed since my meeting with Dr Canavan who came to my aid after a cycling accident. . .
There are no words to describe the loss we feel of Dr. June. . .
Dr. June Canavan gave hope, happiness, & health to so many. . .
Shelley & I, amongst the many, will miss her dearly.
I knew of June from my triathlon days where she supported the tri club & her triathlon patient(s). Those days are long gone for me, but had cause to meet June once again when Shelley & I attended June’s Surgery for Shelley’s hard-to-diagnose Psoriatic Arthritis that she’d suffered from for decades.
What Shelley suffered for decades, had no name or believers, & Shel was dismissed by many GP’s over the years
It was a revelation to see the strength of June’s resolve in helping Shelley.
You can’t imagine the kind of joy realised with June’s words of, “You’re not crazy nor a hypochondriac, but what you‘ve got is ……..” .
Dr. June would be the 1st to give you a big re-assuring hug when tears overwhelm ones story of decades of anguish.
Right from the get go, June gave you hope in the strength of her resolve, “We will get this sorted! ”.
So buoyed was I by June’s excellence that I, too, dared give my “stuff” a last shot.
I’d complained for years about fatigue. The heart specialists said my heart was working good & my pacemaker was working well.
I too had been dismissed, & I was resigned to mediocrity.
Dr. June knew old athletes don’t rest well, & offered me a sports shrink in parallel to my cardio investigations.
I too had something hard-to-diagnose: Prinzmetal’s Angina. Appropriate medication soon had me feeling better than ever!
All this, for me & Shelley, was in 2008.
June marvelled at our motorbike scoots when she saw us in her car park. She had that ever-youthful sense of adventure in her eyes as she looked at us, all geared up & ready to go.
We can never share that type of moment with her again.
Dr June Canavan can never again get others on their feet; I’m sure she’d done 1,000’s of times before.
She was a lovely & talented person. More than “just a doctor” that Shel & I knew….she really cared for people.
Robert & Michelle Morrell
Only meeting Dr June once left a lasting impression on us of her dedication and passion in her field of sports medicine. . .
This is such a tragic loss of an amazing woman with so much zest for life and for helping others.
I was devastated to hear of this tragic event . . .
I couldn’t believe it and then I could knowing that June was different when I saw the news tonight . . .
It seems I had known you my whole life. . .
We shared a friendship that I will never ever find again.
You will live in my heart forever!
The world has lost a truly remarkable doctor, and the heart of an angel.
Rest in peace!
Shirl the Girl
To the special lady who climbed mountains and touched our hearts . . .
We were so lucky to have had you visit our school last Friday. You shared your “Klocking up the K’s” dream with us and let us help you along your journey. Your story about your fundraising efforts was so inspiring. You made us appreciate what we have and taught us to follow our dreams. You also showed us the joy of giving and of showing compassion and love to others less fortunate than ourselves. Most of all you reminded us about what is important in life.
You were an amazing doctor. Your knowledge, skills and willingness to help others made you an exemplary human being. You had a great gift for not only soothing aches and pains, but of calming the spirit and filling the heart with optimism and hope.
Sport was important to you. You inspired athletes who, like you, wouldn’t settle for the ordinary or the mundane, but aimed for the stars. You would diagnose, treat and ensure a successful recovery to allow athletes to return to high performance of body and mind. You always gave your time so willingly. It didn’t matter how late you were at work; all that was important was that you gave everyone the attention they needed. You always put others before yourself, right until the very end. You put confidence and hope into people’s hearts and you stood up for all that is good in the world.
It is so sad to have lost such an amazing person. Words can’t describe our loss. You will not be forgotten.
Your legacy will live on. We will reach for the stars – just like you Dr June.
May your spirit shine brightly forever!
N ever giving up
Dr June at Mountain Creek State School on Friday 7th August 2009 with Student Council Reps and Tennille Knight who raised $882.45 for Klocking up the K’s to go to the School of St Jude.
Mountain Creek State School Student Council, Students & Staff, and Tennille Knight
Dr June was an incredible inspiration to so many as a doctor, adventurer . . .
Thank you Dr June.
My oldest, dearest friend - my heart-sister - died of ovarian cancer some years ago. . .
I remember you as the welcoming face of the Medical Women’s group . . .
I remember you as the welcoming face of the Medical Women’s group when I was new to the Sunshine Coast in the early 90’s. What a women of vitality and warmth! Then as the consummate medical professional in your chosen area of expertise – sports medicine, when my husband had injured himself for the umpteenth time at martial arts. Your clinical expertise and therapeutic acumen were second to none. To have your life cut off while you were engaged in compassionate philanthropy is such a tragedy and a waste. I hope the donations flow in for your chosen project, so that your death is honoured. It’s all we can do. I’ll miss you. You are an inspiration.
Dr Sue Newton, Buderim
Dr June we will miss you so much! . .
You loved life and made the most of it, following your dreams and helping others. You are a true inspiration
The Skelly Family
On behalf of the Morgan family of the Sunshine Coast . . .
She blessed our lives in so many ways – by caring for us as a compassionate and dedicated doctor; by inspiring us with her adventures around the world; by bringing us joy with her fantastic sense of humour and lightheartedness; and by being a true friend in every sense of the word.
We will miss her so much but her generosity, authenticity, joyous spirit and her words of wisdom will remain in our hearts and minds forever. She was an amazing woman and an example to live up to.
R.I.P. Dr June and thankyou for everything. We love you and you will always be remembered for the positive difference you made in our lives and in the lives of others.
We were shocked and saddened to hear that June was on the plane that crashed in PNG . . .
Stuart and Gillian Marshall
Thank you for your dedication you showed me regarding my health problem . . .
My heart is so broken, I can't believe I'm not going to see you again . . .
My heart is so broken, I can’t believe I’m not going to see you again. From the day you diagnosed my knee injury and I broke down in tears in your surgery, you showed me how to be strong and positive, motivated and compassionate, all traits that I know you so well for. Over the years and with my increase in what was at the time annoying motobike injuries, we became great friends, so I’m almost grateful now that ever crashed a bloody motorbike. Sammy and I will miss you dearly and wish that we could share one more glass of wine and a good laugh. You are truly one of Australias greatest doctors and I know that you will be sadly missed both in the medical industry but also by all of the athletes you treated and mentored and rest of the Sunshine Coast. You’ll be forever in our hearts.
Lots of Love
We started off as patients of yours about 18 years ago, and ended up being friends as well . . .
We will never forget our nights out together. Thank you so much for your dedication to our family whether you were here in Australia or overseas. We are going to miss you greatly but you will never be forgotten. RIP dear friend and Dr.
Dulcie & Lawrie Morgan
I had only known you June for a short time of 6 years but felt like a life time. . .
The passing of Dr June is an enormous tragedy and loss of such a wonderful . . .
Jeff & Roberta
I first met you as a doctor on which I saw I got to know you after an Achilles tendon I tore . . .
You were truly one in a million a shining light . . .
You were truly one in a million a shining light .
I had the privilege of knowing you as a patient and friend for 12 years. You made a difference in many peoples lives with your dedicated caring and compassionate nature. You were my hero in the way you gave of yourself to others. My heart is heavy with this terrible news today.
I am proud to have known you and will never forget what you have done for me.
I will miss you so much.
Love Virginia Kelly
June was a treasure and someone who truly cared . . .
What can I say, I am absolutely devastated. . .
What can I say, I am absolutely devastated. You didnt even get to climb Kokoda. I am struggling to deal with the fact that I will never see your smile again, never crack a joke with you or hear your words of wisdom and encouragement. You are one of a kind. Words cannot explain how much of an impact you had on my life and others. ‘Never keep dreaming’ you said once to me….so I wont, not now not ever. I hope you get to climb all the mountains you dreamed about June, you are an inspiration. I will miss you.
So much in my heart…
Rest in peace June………………
Very sad, an absolutely wonderful caring person. . .
What a terrible loss . . .
The Donaldson Family
As a fellow health professional I knew I could always rely on June . . .
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr June in a work setting . . .
I was so excited to have her expertise, enthusiasm, knowledge and experience guide my direction, and was especially excited what the near future held with her help!!!
June worked hard, loved the lifestyle that work gave her too – and loved life.
She will be long remembered and sorely missed by colleagues here, and I know in Europe.
June truly lived – how many people really act on their passions and have the drive to follow through? June you were 1 of a kind, and I am better for knowing you, even if the time was so short.
You will be missed.
Whilst I didn't know June personally . . .
You will be greatly missed - your passion, enthusiasm and commitment . . .
The loss of Dr June is such a waste. She had such a passion for what she did. Dr June had a true interest in everyone she meet. She loved the sport we love, swimming. We are struggling to come to terms with this loss but are so thankful to have meet her and to have had her in our lives. Thank you Dr June we will miss you.
Kerry & Hannah Williams
We have been both colleagues and friends since your residency at the Nambour Hospital . . .
We have been both colleagues and friends since your residency at the Nambour Hospital. Now with your beloved Sebastian may you find peace. Thanking you for your friendship throughout the years.
Will miss you.
The loss of Dr Canavan is such a huge loss of the expertise and knowledge she had . . .
You have been more then just a far away friend and college meeting up in Switzerland now & then . . .
You have been more then just a far away friend and college meeting up in Switzerland now and then.
Your need to know more and share with all who wanted made you what you are
Unforgettable, unique and in our hearts forever.
We will miss you my sunshine!!