March 3, 2021
The Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce and Industry has launched a program – dubbed SMILE – in a bid to address the issue of suicide in the local workforce.
SMILE stands for “Supporting Mental Health through Information Leadership and Education”.
It was unveiled at the KCCI’s March meet’n’greet which was held on Monday night at South Burnett Care’s function room.
The get-together was hosted by local MP and former KCCI secretary Deb Frecklington and attracted about 80 businesspeople.
The story of a local employee who recently took his own life was shared from the stage by his boss as a stark reminder of what is happening too often in our region.
The employee – whom southburnett.com.au has chosen not to name – in hindsight had shown signs he had problems but “ticking the box” of referring him to an employee assistance program had not been enough.
The death left his boss and his workmates reeling.
Chamber president Damien Martoo said the problem was “real” and the Chamber was not going to let it just “slide under the table”.
“We are going to throw real resources at this; we are going to throw real money at this, and we are going to ask more people to throw money at this as well to provide training in business,” Mr Martoo said.
“Watch this space.”
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If you or someone you know needs help, call:
- Lifeline on 13-11-14
- Kids Helpline on 1800-551-800
- MensLine Australia on 1300-789-978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300-659-467
- Beyond Blue on 1300-224-636
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The meet’n’greet also was an opportunity for the KCCI to unveil its new Strategic Development Plan which was the result of an afternoon of brainstorming late last year by Executive members.
The plan, which can be downloaded from the KCCI website (880kb PDF) identifies the five core themes for the Chamber: Regional Progression, Relationships, Connections, Network Diversity and Leadership.
However, Mr Martoo stressed it was a “living document” and would change over time.
“The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry will show strong leadership and timely communication to the business sector,” he said.
“This is something we have to drive now and into the future. We will communicate the full facts of projects and programs within our region and we will do so honestly, without the distraction of self-importance or political bias.
“We are driven to be inclusive to all but under no circumstances will we provide special treatment to anyone.
“We are here for business. If you want to be part of this Chamber and you want to come along for the ride, you can do it but do not expect special treatment.”
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Other topics discussed at the meet’n’greet included:
- A KTP Facade Workshop, facilitated by the KCCI, will be held on Tuesday, March 23, for business owners and commercial property owners. Guest speakers will be from Kay Apparel and Home Butcher Supplies (who will be talking about the importance of signage); Crowies Paints (retaining heritage while bringing a building into the modern era); Kingaroy Joinery (a staged approach to upgrades); a representative from Rixson Design (part of the design team behind the KTP); and Faunt and Emmett Real Estate (the value in upgrading facades of commercial properties).
- On March 24, a South Burnett Business Breakfast will be held from 6:00am with Matt Collins at Nanango RSL Club in conjunction with the KCCI, CROW-FM and Burnett Today.
- World’s Greatest Shave fundraising is being undertaken by Kingaroy Office Central’s Susan Robertson. Donations can be made on the World’s Greatest Shave website. She will be losing her locks on March 11 at her business in Haly Street.
- South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto spoke about Council’s Corporate Plan which is under development, the creation of a Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee and the appointment of his predecessor, former mayor Keith Campbell as an “Ambassador” for the Kingaroy Transformation Project (see separate report).