We had a lot on last week across the country.
Soft launch of My Team - Mental health support in your pocket
We soft launched the My Team app which is a concept co-designed and developed by people with lived experience as well as their families, friends and carers along with valuable input from health professionals and other mental health service providers.
Whether you struggle with mental health concerns or know someone who does, you will be able to use My Team to create a network of supporters. This network can comprise of trusted friends and family or even a health care professional. The app lets you set and manage goals and share them with your team, so they can support you along the way.
You can sign up today to be notified when the My Team app goes live.
Supporting the Margaret River community
We were there last week to support the local community as they grieved and prepared to say farewell to the Miles and Cockman families. Red Cross volunteers and staff from Perth stayed on to provide support at the drop-in centre and temporary memorial with psychological first aid, information and referrals. Thanks to Kate Brady and her team for providing the care and social support to the family and local community in Bunbury.
“These memorials hold real significance, they are part of a grieving process. They provide somewhere for people to go and grieve and be together and they also help people re-establish control and connection and belonging,” said Kate.
You can read about the work that they do here.
You can also listen to the interview that Kate did with ABC Radio AM here.
Look out for our biggest fundraising campaign
Last week we also kicked off one of our most important fundraising campaigns in which we are asking people to spark life-changing connections for people overcoming crisis around Australia and our region. In the coming weeks, you may hear us on the radio and see us on signage at your shopping centre, bus stop or the airport. You’ll also find us online and on social media.
It’s a really important opportunity for us to engage with new and existing supporters, showing them how our work helps people connect with essentials like clean water, education and companionship.
The campaign features Sara who, with her unique skills, brings more good by connecting with people who feel lonely or left out. Through our work, we can create more life-changing connections like Sara’s. It would be great if you could support this campaign, by sharing on social media or speaking to your friends and family about our work.
Left: Fred Penny performing the Sorry song which was first performed at the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, on 26 May 1998. Right: Milli and Fred Penny with Kathy Narrier and Vivienne Hansen
National Reconciliation Week
We also marked National Reconciliation Week with events across Australia. Here’s a snapshot of a few we held and attended.
At a morning tea session in Perth, Vivienne Hansen, a well-respected Noongar Elder, opened the week with Welcome to Country in the Noongar Language.
Fred and Milli Penny, also Elders in the Noongar community were also present to tell their stories. Fred shared a heartfelt account of being part of the Stolen Generations and how he was removed from his family at the age of three. People who attended were really moved by the event which was coordinated by Kathy Narrier, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Project Officer.
“Milli’s call to action at the conclusion about the responsibility to inform others was perfect and I certainly have already told several people since Monday of these stories and the great strength that Fred embodies. Really thank you (and them) so much,” said Renata Sivacolundhu, Lead, Capacity Building, Immigration Detention Monitoring Program.
At the Red Cross Jeays Street community centre in Brisbane, staff, members and volunteers came together and heard talks by Elders, took part in a dance led by Indigenous contemporary performer Jeanette Fabila and joined a yarning circle about our history. Staff in Melbourne attended a remembrance service to honour the service and sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.
We also had young people participating and learning more about Aboriginal culture in Kempsey through activities like tool carving, face painting and weaving. Red Cross put on the event in partnership with the local community.
At Red Cross, we believe that we can build a rich national identity based on mutual respect, trust and understanding. We are currently developing our third Reconciliation Action Plan through a co-design approach which allows us to capture lessons learnt in our reconciliation journey through listening and exploring how we could make a more meaningful and deeper impact across the whole organisation.
That’s all for now. Thanks everyone.