LiFE Awards – A record 30 nominations celebrating Tasmanian achievements in suicide prevention received.

MEDIA RELEASE 

LiFE Awards – A record 30 nominations celebrating Tasmanian achievements in suicide prevention received.

Key Points:

  • A record 30 individuals and organisations were nominated over five award categories across the State, each with a focus on creating belonging and reducing suicide rates in Tasmania.
  • Winners of this year’s LiFE Awards will be announced at the LiFE Awards ceremony on 21 March at Crowne Plaza in Hobart.

The Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Community Network has announced that nominations for the 19th Annual LiFE Awards have now closed.

A record 30 individuals and organisations were nominated over five award categories across the State, each with a focus on creating belonging and reducing suicide rates in Tasmania.

Relationships Australia Tasmania CEO Dr Michael Kelly said he was delighted by the number of nominees and their stories of dedication and contribution to suicide prevention in Tasmania.

“The Tasmanian LiFE Awards are based on the national LiFE framework,” Dr Kelly said.

“LiFE, standing for Living is For Everyone, recognises that suicide prevention is a whole-of-community responsibility and promotes collaborative action by all Australians.

“I am always inspired by the willingness of community members to help those in need and to do their part to prevent suicide and support those affected by it.”

Winners of this year’s LiFE Awards will be announced at the LiFE Awards ceremony on 21 March at Crowne Plaza in Hobart.

The nominees are available for interview:

TasNetworks – Best Practice in Suicide Prevention by a Workplace

13 11 14 Program – Lifeline (South)
Alan and Hayley work tirelessly behind the scenes to safeguard and support a considerable number of volunteers who serve as crisis support workers on Lifeline’s crisis line.

Build Up Tassie Team (South)

Build Up Tassie is a work readiness program for individuals aged 16-24 entering the construction industry. As part of the program, Stay ChatTY sessions are integrated to equip young participants with skills for supportive mental health conversations.

The Kingsway Barbershop (North)
The Kingsway Barbershop team in Launceston underwent mental health first aid training to support clients experiencing mental health challenges and guide them towards the appropriate support services.

Lifeline Tasmania – Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention

Community Owned Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES) (North-West)
The CORES program addresses the issue of suicidality across Tasmania. It empowers communities through training, networks, and monthly meetings, fostering open discussions, collaboration, and building the capacity to recognise and respond to individuals at risk of suicide.

Devonport City Council (North-West)
Devonport City Council brings a strong sense of purpose for suicide prevention and this has extended into their recent development of their new ‘Living Well’ strategy.

The ten-year health and well-being plan ‘Living Well’ sets out to achieve positive health and wellbeing outcomes for the entire community.

The Penguin Community Op Shop and Rookery (North-West)
Volunteers touch base with those who are ‘at risk’ with friendly conversations, phone calls and home visits to deliver food and Christmas hampers.

Ulverstone Football Club (North-West)
The Ulverstone Football Club held a mental health round as part of their commitment to supporting players on and off the field. Alex from Speak UP Stay ChatTY was invited to address the players, empowering them to feel confident to speak up about mental health and provided strategies to support their teammates.

Eureka Clubhouse (South)
Eureka Clubhouse’s multifaceted approach to mental health is evident in innovative activities such as the Clubhouse Band (Mentally Healthy as Anything), walking soccer, karaoke, art therapy and community currency programs that offer diverse avenues for members to explore interests, build friendships, and acquire valuable life skills.

Short of a Sheet (South)
Short of a Sheet plays a pivotal role in supporting individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Tasmania. The organisation was born from an initiative by its founder, Danni Renee, who observed people falling through the gaps in local services. Danni created Short of a Sheet to fill these gaps and provide assistance according to the evolving needs of the community.

Spring Bay Suicide Prevention Network (East)
The SB Network is a volunteer-led group creating awareness, belonging and connection on the East Coast.  Multiple activities take place throughout the year that are open to anyone in the community, helping to reduce stigma and create a culture of speaking about mental health openly.

Strike It Out (North)
Strike It Out plays a crucial role in suicide prevention by addressing the factors that contribute to mental health challenges. experienced by individuals facing homelessness. Founder Kirsten Ritchie and the team stepped up to support their community, now providing emergency support and food supplies for people from Wynyard through to Campbell Town.

The Men’s Table (Statewide)
The Men’s Table program is a grassroots initiative for men to share, support, and connect. Run by a team with lived experiences, The Men’s Table provides a non-clinical, judgment-free space where men can find peer support, helping to address issues of isolation and promoting mental wellbeing.

University of Tasmania Student Living Community (South)
Within the UTAS Student Living Community, a number of suicide prevention activities have been undertaken including wellbeing days promoting self-care, suicide awareness and stress reduction.

Newport & Wildman – Innovative Practice and Research

Laura Grattidge (North)

Laura is a compassionate advocate for suicide prevention, undertaking a Ph.D. focused on community-based and youth suicide prevention in rural areas. Through her work in various roles and international forums, Laura’s impact extends across sectors and communities, driving policy change and fostering a better understanding of suicide prevention.

Retired Police Association of Tasmania (Statewide)

The Retired Police Association of Tasmania (RPAT) offers comradeship, peer support, and mental health initiatives, including a 24/7 hotline manned by trained RPAT members.

Stories Through Songs – First Thousand Days Project (North-West)

Stories Through Songs” created a welcoming and safe space for local families at risk of poor mental health, including those experiencing postnatal depression and those at risk of suicide, to explore their lived experiences of raising their children in the first thousand days.

Wellways – Burnie (North-West)

The Wellways Annual Dog Walk and Lunch aims to highlight the benefits of pet ownership for mental wellbeing and provides an opportunity for people to connect with others in their community, while gaining a deeper understanding of the emotional support that dogs offer, contributing to increased self-esteem and overall wellbeing.

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY – Outstanding Contribution to Suicide Prevention by a Young Person

Arabella Gillies (North-West)

Arabella’s dedication to suicide prevention in Tasmania, particularly through hosting gala balls with The Greater Purpose Tas, have positively impacted the local community. Her efforts foster open conversations around mental health, encourage support, and contribute to building a more compassionate and resilient North-West Coast community.

Meriem Daoui (South)

As a passionate advocate for suicide prevention and mental health awareness, Meriem channels her dedication into a range of roles and fundraising activities that make a profound impact. In 2023, Meriem was announced Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year.

Rhianna Farnan (South)

Rhianna is a young professional from Hobart who has taken the initiative to increase awareness of mental health challenges within the mortgage broking and finance industry.

5. Mental Health Council of Tasmania – Outstanding Contribution to Suicide Prevention

Amanda Cuthbertson (Statewide)

In 2010, Amanda, who lost her son Albert to suicide, founded Albie House to create a supportive space for those experiencing similar grief. Through a partnership with Lifeline Tasmania, Albie House offers state-wide suicide support groups, providing a stigma-free environment for individuals to share their pain and feel supported.

Angela Allan (South)

Angela dedicates extensive volunteer hours sharing her lived experience of suicide loss and supporting those experiencing mental ill health. She is a powerful advocate for the human rights of those living with mental ill health.

Ben Hughes (Statewide)

Ben, co-founder of The Men’s Table, has played a pivotal role in establishing 17 Men’s Tables across the state, providing a supportive space for men to connect and share with other men.

Bianca Welsh (North)

Bianca, a successful entrepreneur and vocal advocate for mental wellbeing in the workplace, draws on her lived experience and formal education to provide tailored support for business owners, reducing stigma and contributing to early intervention and prevention.

Jane Austin (Statewide)

Over the past 17 years, Jane, a champion for Tasmanian suicide prevention, has navigated complex government structures and advocated for policy change in key roles within the Department of Health. Her unwavering commitment has led to the establishment of multiple suicide prevention strategies, the Tasmanian Suicide Register, and community-led initiatives.

Mallory Schipper (North)

Mallory, based in the north of Tasmania, serves as the student wellbeing coordinator at a high school, where she has implemented several suicide prevention and wellbeing programs, making a notable impact on the lives of young individuals.

Nikki Titmus (South)

Nikki tirelessly advocates for change, as a practitioner, consultant, volunteer, and through two current board positions. She has influenced cultural and social transformation across justice, education, health, and community services and fearlessly challenges oppressive narratives while promoting effective suicide prevention strategies.

Sharon Corvinus-Jones (North-West)

As the CEO of the Kentish Regional Clinic, a mental health training organisation based in Sheffield, Sharon uses her lived experience to support others with strategies to improve self-care and mental wellbeing.

Sophie Murfitt (East)

For the past three years, Sophie has put together a cocktail party called East Coast Awareness to bring the community together and promote positive mental health messaging.

ends here-

Media Contact: A.Mark Thomas, M&M Communications, 0422 006 732

About Relationships Australia Tasmania

At Relationships Australia Tasmania we provide families, couples, individuals, older people, children and communities with tools and strategies, so that they have healthy, positive lives. We help more than 8000 Tasmanians every year to transform and change their lives through counselling, mediation, dispute resolution, support and training.

Our focus is on:

  • healthy relationships, conflict resolution, parenting, cultural issues and mental health
  • We offer people the services and support they need, when they need it to assist them when life presents challenges.
  • Services are available to all people regardless of cultural background, family structure, economic situation, religious beliefs, gender or sexual orientation.

More information about the services and support we offer can be found on our website www.tas.relationships.com.au

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