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Outback Futures Enews: January 2018
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Welcome to our January 2018 Newsletter

As I sit down to reconnect with you all at the beginning of another year, I am torn about whether to do the whole standard sort of ‘Welcome to the New Year’ piece or whether to actually just launch into our newsletter as the year seems to have been launched – with no gentle wind up, niceties, or time to get used the whole concept of another January to December. Yes, we have the standard great favourites of summer with the Ashes, ODI’s and the Big Bash, the Australian Open etc, but simultaneously we have been hit with the reality of ongoing struggles as the “Do It for Dolly” campaign is launched, the eternal wait for rain continues with soaring temperatures to boot, and national tensions continue around some long held assumptions on what constitutes gender, the meaning of Australia Day and so much more.

Years tend to roll into one another with really very minimal opportunity to stop and process the previous year and all it held, before being caught up in the crazy pace and struggles of 2018.

As Outback Futures prepare to embark on an exciting roll out across some of the most remote regions of Queensland, I am acutely aware right now that pressure and uncertainty is huge. A prominent Longreach local said to me just yesterday that “there is a real spirit of heaviness around the place” as people try to continue to hope for the promised wet season to hit.



So as we anxiously wait and anticipate together with the west of our state right now, we are at the same time eagerly anticipating connecting with and serving these communities wherever we can across the year ahead. We look forward to strengthening relationships and forging new ones, and thank you in advance for your support.
 

Selena Gomersall  l  Chief Executive Officer
selena@outbackfutures.org.au
0417 703 729
Rendevous With RAPAD

It was very exciting towards the end of last year to begin connecting with the RAPAD (Remote Area Planning and Development) Board, specifically around the plans for the four year roll out of Outback Futures services across their respective shires.

For those of you who are not aware, RAPAD is a group made up of the mayors and CEO’s of seven shires in the Central West: Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Barcoo, Winton, Diamantina ad Boulia. We are looking forward to integrating with local service providers already on the ground and helping to infiltrate these regions with support, service and ultimately an empowered sense of well being and capacity.  It is such a privilege to be given the chance to do this and be part (with other service providers) of hopefully transforming the landscape around mental health and well being in Western Queensland.

Roma Picnic Races Trip

Outback Futures are very excited to have Sheehan Events getting behind the work we do by putting together a fabulous event combining all the essential elements of a great weekend: good food; fellowship and entertainment!  Please grab some mates, book some tickets and have a guaranteed weekend to remember, and at the same time be part of renewing hope, building resilience and strengthening community in remote Queensland.

For booking information email us on info@outbackfutures.org.au

Team Focus

This month we welcome Rhys who is the newest member of the Outback Futures family.

Rhys was born in Gunnedah NSW, but spent his formative years in Canberra. He moved to Brisbane with his wife Jo and three kids in 2004. He has spent time working for the Queensland State and Federal Governments, but more recently in a community development support role with a group of local and international projects and programs.

Rhys has had the privilege of travelling to a number of international destinations which has helped solidify his love and appreciation of Australia. He is challenged by the needs in remote communities and is excited to be part Outback Futures in bringing hope, building resilience and strengthening community.

Rhys attends Gateway Baptist Church, enjoys an annual 4x4 camping holiday on Moreton Island and his favourite poem is Dorothea Mackellar's "Dawn". He is also a fan of the bad and mean green machine (the Canberra Raiders) predicting a 2018 grand final victory!

Family Focus
Do It For Dolly


A 14-year-old girl from a well-known Northern Territory cattle family who took her own life last week has been remembered by her family as a "kind, caring and beautiful soul" as they launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of bullying and harassment around “Do it for Dolly”.

 
This new “Do it for Dolly” Campaign has reminded us yet again of two big and current issues in our communities both urban and rural - cyberbullying and suicide.

I was reading recently that Mission Australia’s youth survey this year found concerns about mental health across the country have doubled since 2011. About 22,000 young people aged 15-19 took part in the survey and more than 20% cited mental health as among their top national issues. Mission Australia’s CEO said concerns about mental health were at their highest level in the survey’s 15 year history.

We need to listen to our young people. If they are talking loudly and clearly about their concerns around mental health, even despite the stigmas associated with this area of health, then we know we need to sit up and take notice.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your children and young people about these issues. So often we don’t talk about suicide because we don’t want to ‘put ideas into our young people’s heads’, but the reality is, they are aware, and it is much better to be up front and teach them that it is safe to discuss these areas with parents and trusted adults. They are much more likely to disclose about themselves or others they know, if the precedent has been set and the topic has been made safe and accessible. The more we open the area of mental health into everyday conversation as we would broken bones and cancer treatment, the more chance we have of knowing where we need to intervene and the sorts of responses we need to be making before it is too late.

Make a Difference

If you would like to make a general donation towards the work of Outback Futures you can donate here.  All donations are tax deductible.
Copyright © 2018 Outback Futures, All rights reserved.


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