South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group chair Cr Danita Potter with guest speaker Sam Thaiday

November 9, 2021

Volunteers who have been working hard behind the scenes for more than a decade to tackle mental health issues in the South Burnett took a well-earned break on Friday night.

The South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group had planned to mark its 10th birthday last year, but COVID scuttled that plan.

So the group waited until there was a break in the pandemic to schedule their birthday celebrations, officially marking 11 years on Friday.

The dinner, which attracted about 120 guests, was held at the Kingaroy Town Hall.

Guest speaker was former NRL great and Broncos captain Sam Thaiday, who retired from top-level league in 2018.

Sam has a popular podcast, “We Are Human”, which looks at mental health issues among elite sports stars.

The podcast also details Sam’s own story … the highs and lows of growing up in a mixed race family, his struggles with low self-esteem and how he handled the end of his NRL career.

South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group chair, Cr Danita Potter, said it had been a really good night, and an opportunity for the group members to relax.

“Sam was amazing,” she said.

“He spoke about his history and mental health issues.”

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington also spoke about her connections with the group, which go back to the very early days in 2010.

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If you or someone you know needs help, call:

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington with husband Jason … Mrs Frecklington’s connection with the South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group goes right back to 2010, before she was elected to State Parliament
Local author Nicola Pitt with her husband, South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark
Lachlan Binder, Wondai; Leonie McGregor, Wondai; and second guest speaker David Davey, from youth support organisation, Youth Insearch
Wakka Wakka Elder Uncle Eric Law, who did the Welcome To Country, with Christene and Don Nissen., from Kingaroy
Dealing with the aftermath of suicide is an all-too-common trauma for local police … Snr Sgt Dave Tierney and Det Sgt Scott Prendergast with their wives Melissa and Sheree
SBRC Youth Mental Health co-ordinator Margie Hams with Sharron Coughlan, a foundation member of the South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group
Support facilitator John Bushell, support co-ordinator Shirreen Morgan, manager Debbie Smith and support co-ordinator Peta Rowen from Rural and Remote Mental Health’s CountryCare Connections
Kay Swannson was working hard at the entrance to the hall … Kay has been a volunteer with the South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group since 2016
Members of the Kingaroy Men’s Shed were looking after drinks and soft drinks at the bar

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables


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