House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Statements by Members

Forde Electorate: STEPS 4208

1:43 pm

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to talk about a fantastic Christmas initiative that happened in Forde on the weekend. Community group STEPS 4208, based in Ormeau, arranged for a motorcyclist to dress as Santa and travel through Ormeau and Pimpama in hopes of raising funds for mental health research. STEPS 4208 is a group of like-minded people who came together in October this year with the purpose of raising awareness of mental health in the 4208 and 4207 postcodes. These are people who have come together because they know about the mental health and wellbeing issues in their community and they know they have increased after the stresses of this year. Organiser Sue Haywood said:

So we're trying to organise events to bring people together to basically put a smile on their face, to get them talking and if these people need help, we can get them in touch with the right organisation to help them.

The money raised from the ride is going to LIVIN, an organisation that delivers the LIVINWell mental health and stigma reduction program in schools and community groups across Australia. I want to applaud this event put together by STEPS 4208. Connection to others, being able to have a laugh and a smile at Santas on motorbikes, and having fun in our communities or on our own are important for our mental health. However, doing all these things in order to raise funds and awareness about this serious issue and its effect on others is truly important and in the best Christmas spirit.