House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Statements by Members

R U OK?Day

1:58 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise today to remind the House that R U OK?Day is today, and say to all of my colleagues: are you okay? And, if you're not, you can find me in the chief whip's office!

On a serious note, it is R U OK?Day today, and I know what that means in our communities on the ground—in our schools in particular. I know that most of the schools in my electorate will pause today to remind one another that when you aren't okay the people who you need to ask you about it are your mates and the people who need to ask you are your family. And it is okay to ask, 'Are you okay?' and to find ways to engage your friends, your children, your brothers and sisters or whoever it is.

As a former teacher, and a mother of three sons, I often found that one of the best ways to engage boys was by doing something with them: paint a bathroom, get some physical activity happening, avoid eye contact and say: 'How's it going, mate? Are you okay?' Find something physical to do. Getting them driving the car is a good place: driving lesson, mum beside and suddenly they can have that conversation that's been keeping them up at night for weeks.

So to everyone in this House: please find someone today to ask if they're okay.


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