Olympic legend launches conversation corner

Article image - Olympic legend launches conversation corner Australian swimming champion Libby Trickett helped launch the initiative in Bundaberg on 8 September.

Bundaberg Regional Council is encouraging residents to have meaningful conversations about their mental health.

Olympic gold medallist and R U OK? Ambassador Libby Trickett helped unveil the first-ever community Conversation Corner at BRAG Park, in Bundaberg on R U OK? Day, 8 September.

Conversation Corners were first launched in secondary schools in 2015, and included a specially designed R U OK? bench accompanied by an activation plan to bring students, teachers and carers together to design a space for the bench to feature in.

The initiative aims to serve as an ongoing reminder to students to be there for one another.

Bundaberg Regional Council approached R U OK? about the possibility of partnering with the organisation to see the initiative introduced in the Bundaberg CBD area – a request R U OK? Chief Executive Officer Brendan Maher was delighted to support.

“We want to remind people every day that they’ve got what it takes to be there for someone doing it tough.

“We’re delighted that Bundaberg Regional Council has taken the initiative to help champion the all-important question ‘are you ok?’ in their community.

“We encourage other communities to follow Bundaberg’s lead and to create more spaces for people to have these regular, meaningful conversations on R U OK? Day and throughout the year.”

Mr Maher said the Council has set the wheels in motion for other Australian cities and towns to follow.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the bench represented the important role a simple conversation could play in helping a friend, family member or colleague cope with emotional and personal issues.

“We’re delighted to be the first Council to take this great initiative into the community,” said the Mayor.

“I would encourage all members of the community to take advantage of the conversation bench and I hope it serves as a reminder of the great impact one simple question can have on someone’s life.”

Mayor Dempsey said he was thrilled that R U OK? Ambassador Libby Trickett visited the region to unveil the bench.

“It’s so important that we encourage our communities, friends, team mates and families to support each other and check in; this will certainly encourage more meaningful conversations,” Ms Trickett said.                  

“We live in a society that makes it so easy to disconnect or to lose touch with people, the Conversation Corner is a really powerful way to help combat that.”

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