Nat Barr s having a ball

Affectionately known as the "golden girl of Bunbury", Sunrise news anchor and veteran journalist Natalie Barr is counting down the days until she flies to *Perth * to host the Royal Flying Doctor Service of WA's ALTITUDE fundraising ball.

"It really is something that's close to my heart," Barr told AAA.

A busy mother of two, Barr and her son Lachlan have both received treatment from the RFDS.

"A few years ago we were in Dunsborough and my son had a bike accident. We ended up having to go to Perth in the RFDS plane.

"Nearly 30 years ago I needed the RFDS plane from Bunbury. So I've had a couple of instances where I've thought 'these guys are saviours, thank God they're here'."

Barr believes the RFDS is an essential organisation that needs as much financial support as possible to continue doing good work.

"It's such a big State and the distances are so huge and there are so many people living out in the middle of nowhere who rely on the Royal Flying Doctors year in, year out. You never know when you're going to need them."

Barr celebrates 20 years of working at Seven this year, with 12 of those years on live TV at Australia's number-one breakfast show, Sunrise. She says she still loves getting out of bed at 3am in the morning to go to work.

"I've just loved my time - I pinch myself and think I've been so lucky. It's a lot of hard work but I've had some fantastic opportunities," she said.

"There aren't many days that I'm not enthusiastic to get out of bed, which I'm really thankful for. I really love live TV - I love the excitement of the red light on that camera going on every morning and knowing you are absolutely live across Australia. There's no delay: whatever you say, whatever mistakes you make go straight out there."

Tickets for ALTITUDE, which takes place on Saturday in Crown Perth's grand ballroom, are available from altitudeball.com.au.

The West Australian

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