House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Statements by Members

Hope4u Foundation

1:35 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

When Di Russell experienced the tragedy of the suicide of her son Jason, she turned her grief into action, providing support for others and raising awareness about the scourge of suicide. She created the Hope4u foundation to offer free support to families affected by suicide.

One of their many activities is the annual Hope4u walk, which I've attended since its start in 2016. It attracts more and more people each year who want to remember and honour someone they've lost. Sadly, Di, who also works as a registered nurse, has since lost a second son to suicide, her youngest son, Aaron, aged 27. Her loss is unimaginable but her determination is palpable, and it was very fitting that she was recently named Hawkesbury Citizen of the Year.

I encourage people to come out on this coming Saturday morning to support Di but also to connect and to help lift the stigma of suicide. I'll be there at 9 am at Ham Common, opposite the Richmond RAAF base, down near the tennis courts, to do the walk, which ends at the visitors centre. I'll be joined by my friend Emma McBride, the Assistant Minister for Mental Health. We'll be there to show our support for Di and all the people who are there to remember their loved ones. It's an important event. It connects people, it allows them to remember, it raises awareness and it brings hope to all involved.