House debates

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Statements by Members

Bass Electorate: Boots on the Ground

1:44 pm

Photo of Bridget ArcherBridget Archer (Bass, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I had the pleasure of supporting a great event on the weekend raising funds and awareness for mental wellbeing in rural and regional areas. It was raising funds for the Boots on the Ground initiative and was hosted by the team at Cataract on Paterson. Those in attendance shared a generous lunch in great company, highlighting the value of community connectedness. Well done to Jo Palmer and Karen Burbury and your organising committee.

Boots on the Ground is about raising awareness and practical on-the-ground support for rural Tasmanians to improve their wellbeing. A partnership between Rotary Tasmania Community Care, Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and Rural Alive and Well, the program is aimed at saving lives and improving mental health. It was a powerful reminder of the importance of being vigilant—to recognise when our friends and loved ones may not be okay. We can see a physical wound, but, as so many of us now know, it's the private battle going on behind the scenes that can be kept so well hidden until sometimes it is too late.

The event highlighted how Boots on the Ground is supporting our community. RAW's work is so vital in isolated communities, and reach-out coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering a friendly ear in a difficult time. They can provide information, support and strategies to help, as well as linking you with other services. RAW's service is free and confidential and can be contacted by calling 1300HELPMATE.