2014 Mental Health Week

Oct 10, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with Jessica White & Fawn Brady from Kane’s Crusade today on World Mental Health Day to promote Mental Health Week, which is the week of 5-11 October 2014.

With almost half of Australians experiencing mental illness at some point in their lives it is wonderful to have so many local groups such as Kane’s Crusade, Beehive, Angel Light Link, Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide & Windermere providing much needed support for people either suffering from a mental illness or going through difficult times. Locals groups that complement the work of national organisations like Lifeline and Headspace are important in providing much needed mental health support, especially for our young people.

“On behalf of the local community I want to thank all our local community groups and volunteers involved in mental health groups such as Kane’s Crusade, Beehive, Angel Light Link, Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide & Windermere who provide a vital service for our community during times of need,’ said Mr Byrne.


Kane’s Crusade plans to help change the stigma that is attached to depression/mental illness in our community and around the world for those suffering this debilitating illness. They want people to openly say they are not ok and try to seek help.

Kane’s Crusade plan to raise/seek funds so programs can be put in place around Australia in Schools, community groups, workplace environments and social settings to address the signs, symptoms and treatment of Depression. They hope to provide past survivor’s stories of overcoming depression. They aim to conduct motivational talks with students and workplaces to acknowledge the stigma and try to shift the negative perception of depression in the community. They aim to do this by providing workplaces with appropriate training in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training (ASIST) and Motivational Depression awareness talks to management and the Work forces, community/sporting group, School etc. so that they can recognise the signs of depression before it the illness becomes too progressive.

Kane’s Crusade also has a plan to build an ALIVE CENTRE – a centre for recovery and rehabilitation for depression suffers.

To find out more about Kane’s Crusade please visit: www.kanescrusade.net or email kanescrusade@gmail.com


Beehive is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at implementing structured programs to help our youth in the ages of 13-21 by developing coping strategies, and help develop self-esteem and confidence through life skills that focus on work ethic, motivation, and goal setting.

Beehive’s primary focus will be on Australia’s 3000+ junior sporting organisations – with over 1 million teenagers playing sport. Supported by just under 1 million parent helpers.

What does Beehive do?

– The Hive: The Hive is an off-field leadership program that encourages players to become more involved in the running of their club.
– The Buzz: The Buzz is a program aimed to help parents in junior sport to be good role models, and build a culture that encourages fair play, inclusiveness and a safe environment for children to enjoy their sport and develop self-esteem and confidence.
– The Edge: The Edge is our cornerstone program – run in various formats (over a full day, 2 half days or 8 one hour sessions. The Edge is about teaching our youth basic life skills and coping strategies that can be applied in sport, school and life.

To find out more please contact Mark Haughton 0452 205 929.


Angel Light Link focuses on the care and support of young women who are at-risk or who are struggling with issues such as poor body image, eating disorders, sexual abuse, depression, peer pressure and low self-esteem. As an organisation inspired by values of integrity, compassion and excellence, our purpose is to help prevent harmful or abusive behaviours and to provide information, counselling and support to young women in need.

What does Angel Light Link?

– The All About You 8 week program, ideal for students in Year Seven & Eight, covers one 45 minute session a week for eight weeks and can be used in school during class or lunch time.
– Angel Light Link runs workshops which are an extension of the All About You Program. These workshops are run during class time and provide schools with an opportunity to allow a large number of girls to participate in the program by running multiple sessions of one or more workshops. The workshops are designed to run for 90 – 120 minutes.

To find out more please contact Sally McCracken on 9796 5054.


Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide is Facebook Page of around 20,000 members that provides a supportive community, which is primarily about peer-to-peer support, with adult moderators (list at the end of this post) who provide additional support and protect the safety of members on the page.

To find out more about Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/preventingyouthsuicide/


Suicide Prevention Program workshops:

General Awareness Session

This is a community awareness session and is ideal for schools, parents and others in the broader community. This one-hour presentation by a qualified facilitator is your ‘first step’ into the topic of suicide, aimed at encouraging you to consider your attitudes and gaining an understanding of the facts. You will get to explore the evidence, myths, attitudes and risk factors, and have a chance to ask questions both during the session and after.

LivingWorks Safe TALK

This workshop is for both young people and adults. Over half a day (four hours) two qualified facilitators will share a series of DVD clips with you, followed by discussion, questions and role play. You will also receive a pocket card to take away with you outlining some basic steps to saving lives, and the contact details of people who can help if you come across someone who is suicidal. You will learn how to:

– recognise a person’s distress and the ways they ask for help without actually asking
– respond to the warning signs (and why it’s ok to get it wrong)
– apply some basic Safe TALK skills including telling them that you have noticed, ask if they have considered suicide, listen to what they say and, if you are a young person, involve a trusted adult to help keep them safe, and link them to professional help.

LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

This workshop is suitable for everyone in the community, as long as you are at least 15 years of age. Over two days you will learn how to become ‘suicide alert’ and what to do to help prevent someone from acting on suicidal thoughts. You will:

– have a chance to reflect on attitudes and how this affects our ability to intervene
– explore the behaviours, expressions and feelings of someone at risk of suicide
– learn specific strategies, what to say and what not to say, and what you need to do (suicide first aid)
share ‘helper self-care tips’ with other participants.

To find out more about Windermere please call 9705 3200.


Mental Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and take action on the issue that affects 1 in 4 young Australians. Below are five ways that people could get involved with headspace activities during Mental Health Week:

1. headspace Stories video series
We’ve launched a new video series with young people sharing their stories of going through a tough time and seekign help. Watch the first two video storieswith Rania from Canberra and Nick from Melbourne.

2. ABC Mental As Campaign
headspace is a proud partner of ABC’s Mental As campaign for Mental Health Week. During the week ABC will host a series of shows and events focusing on mental health.

3. headspace centre events
During the week our 70 headspace centres across the country will be holding local events. Find your nearest centre to see what they’re up to.

4. Zip It on Mental Health Day
On World Mental Health Day October 10 we are encouraging people to pledge their voice and stay silent for up to 24 hours. The aim of Zip It is to raise awareness and funds for mental health organisations including headspace. Find out more and register for Zip It 2014 here

5. Yarn Safe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander campaign
headspace recently launched a youth-led campaign aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young people. Take time during Mental Health Week to check out the campaign and how it was put together by 12 deadly young people from across Australia. http://www.yarnsafe.org.au

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Responding to the Endeavour Hills Incident – Wed 24 Sept 2014

Sep 24, 2014

“Bringing our community together” – Interview with Leigh Sales on the 7:30 Report.

Statement by Anthony Byrne MP regarding the incident at the Endeavour Hills Police Station last night.

Record attendance at the 2014 Doveton Show

Sep 23, 2014


On Sunday 21st September 2014, Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, along with Cr Geoff Abblett, Mayor of the City of Casey, officially opened the 10th Annual Doveton Show at Myuna Farm.

Held on a Sunday each year at the same time as the Royal Melbourne Show, the Doveton Show has been an exceptionally successful community-driven initiative, attracting a record 20,000 attendees this year. The Doveton Show showcases the very best of the Doveton Eumemmerring community and provides a low-cost alternative to the Melbourne Show, as the entry fee is still only two dollars.

The Doveton Show is a full day event that is well supported by local community members and features a variety of activities including:

• music and dance performances;
• an animal nursery;
• amusements and rides;
• face painting;
• sporting activities;
• historical engine displays;
• show bags;
• market stalls;
• art and craft
• displays and workshops;
• food stalls;
• train rides

Anthony Byrne MP said: “This year’s Doveton Show at Myuna Farm was brilliant as Doveton Pride came to the fore. Huge crowds, great entertainment and fantastic activities made it a wonderful day for everyone. One of the highlights from the show was seeing one of the icons of Myuna Farm, Joey the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.”

“I wish to congratulate the Doveton Show events committee including Myuna Farm Manager Mr Steve Hill on holding such a marvellous show this year. And I wish to thank all the dedicated group of volunteers for their work in making the show run so smoothly on such a beautiful day,” said Mr Byrne.

According to the Doveton Show committee, “the Doveton Show was held for the first time on September 25th 2005. Event organizers were confident of attracting at least 1,000 and were hopeful that they might get as many as 2,000 people through the doors. Hopes were exceeded with over 5,000 people flocking to Myuna Farm, from as far as Nyora and Keilor.”

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Anthony Byrne MP accepts Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Sep 1, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, last Saturday was nominated by local resident Julie Paull to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Julie’s husband Rex Paull recently passed away from Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
According to Julie Paull, ‘MND is the most horrible of diseases a person can get it robs you of the ability to Move Speak Eat And eventually Breathe. Our lives were forever changed with the three little letters MND. There is no cure and no treatment.’

‘I wish to thank Anthony Byrne MP and also the Casey Community who have been very supportive for example the Cranbourne 1st Scout division did the challenge last Friday in honour or my husband as have several local and non-local people,’ said Ms Paull.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a neurological disease that affects over 350,000 of the world’s population, and kills over 100,000 every year. MNDAV produces a range of information and resources to assist and inform people living with MND, carers, families, friends and health professionals.

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS/MND is a social media campaign that was initiated by Pete Frates, a former Boston College captain who is living with motor neurone disease (MND) in the US. Since Peter Frates posted his challenge online, the Ice Bucket Challenge quickly went viral and is now spreading across Australia’s MND, sporting and entertainment communities.

“I only accepted this challenge after I received Julie’s message nominating me and hearing the tragic story of Julie’s husband who she lost due to MND. I accepted the challenge to assist Julie in raising awareness of MND and to let Julie and her family know how much I appreciate their courage and their efforts to combat MND,’ said Mr Byrne.

After undertaking the challenge Anthony Byrne MP nominated Kevin Rudd, Charlie Rimmer – Manager of Westfield Fountain Gate & Kirk Edwards – CEO of Village Cinemas – Exhibition.

To donate to Julie’s MND team directly visit https://www.mycause.com.au/page/80113/thepaullfamily

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.


Australians for Mental Health

Aug 26, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined with Prof Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year 2010 & Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health, to launch “Australians for Mental Health” at the National Youth Mental Health Campaign Launch & Forum, which took place today at Village Cinemas at Fountain Gate.

Australians for Mental Health will be a Mental Health Advocacy Campaign similar to “Get Up”. To join this mental health advocacy campaign please visit: www.australiansformentalhealth.org.au

Australians for Mental Health – The problem:

• The neglect of mental ill-health is a form of national self- harm that must be stopped;

• Despite increased coverage and awareness of mental health, there still exists a political inertia about mental ill- health.

Australians for Mental Health – What we want”

• The voices of Australians affected by mental ill-health to be heard and responded to;

• Equal access to, and quality of mental health care, as physical health care by 2020 through transformational reform and investment;

• A reduction in the suicide toll to 75% of its current rate – 2,361 deaths per annum – by 2016 and to 50% of its current rate by 2020;

• An increase in annual funding for mental health to 10% of the total health budget by 2016 and to 13% by 2020; as it currently stands at 7%.

• Improved access to mental health care from a level of 40% in 2008 to 60% by 2016 and 80% by 2020

“Mental illness poses by far the greatest threat among all the non-communicable diseases to health, happiness, and economic productivity”, said Prof Patrick McGorry.

“We want to encourage the community to make its voice heard on the need for mental health across the whole lifespan. Our political leaders on both sides of the spectrum need to be further empowered to act and invest in 21st century mental health care for all Australians”, said Prof McGorry.

“The ages between 12 and 25 years are a crucial time in the development of our young men and women and Mental Illness accounts for 50 per cent of the total disease burden among young people in Australia. The forum will continue our ongoing campaign to empower our youth in national and local efforts to reduce the risk of youth depression and other mental health issues in our community”, said Mr Byrne.

“We are really proud to partner again with Prof Patrick McGorry from Orygen Youth Health at the launch of the National Mental Health Campaign called ‘Australians for Mental Health’ at the forum. It’s time to reenergise our campaign for greater national attention and awareness on youth mental health issues and ensure that the voice of Casey’s youth is heard again nationally,’ said Mr Byrne.



Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre Receives Funding Boost

Aug 20, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, caught up with John Hopkins & Peter Godfrey from the Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre, as the organisation received $3,191.60 under the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program from the Australian Government.

The BEST program, administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), provides support and resources to ex-service practitioners for pension and welfare work to assist veterans, war widows and widowers. Further information can be accessed on DVA’s website at www.dva.gov.au

BEST grants are an important part of the Government’s commitment to support ex-service organisation pensions officers, welfare officers and advocates and it is vital to the provision of support to veterans seeking compensation, and their families.

“Local organisations like the Casey Regional Veterans Welfare Centre carry out wonderful work in the local community and it is fantastic to reward the organisation with extra funds to support their vital programs for local Veterans, said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Tax Help in Holt

Jul 14, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, and Tax Help Volunteer Tina Jom are reminding residents that the Tax Help Program in Holt will be starting on Tuesday 5 August 2014 and running until the end of October 2014.

Tax Help is a program run in partnership with the Australian Taxation Office to assist people on a limited income to complete their tax returns. Tax Help is suitable for people earning $50,000 or less a year with tax returns.

“Completing a tax return can be quite a stressful process for many people. I would encourage eligible people to take advantage of this free service that aims to make their lives easier. Our office has already had many enquires this year because our Tax Help volunteer Tina Jom provides such a great service,’ said Mr Byrne.

If you need assistance with completing your tax return this year then please sign up for the free Tax Help program by calling the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 or contacting one of the three local Tax Help Centres directly. Please see below for the contact details of the three Tax Help Centres in Holt.

Tax Help Centres in or near Holt

1. Anthony Byrne MP’s Electorate Office

Shop HM 2B 8-10 Overland Drive Fountain Gate VIC 3805.
To make an appointment please call: (03) 9796 7533

2. Casey North Community & Information Support Service

Suite 1, 90-92 Victor Cres Narre Warren 3805 VIC
To make an appointment please call: (03) 9705 6699

3. Cranbourne Information & Support Service

156 Sladen Street Cranbourne VIC 3977
To make an appointment please call: (03) 5996 3333

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Blessing of the Convent at St Agatha’s Parish, Cranbourne

Jun 11, 2014

Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, today had the pleasure to attend the official opening and Blessing of the Convent at St Agatha’s Parish, Cranbourne. Anthony Byrne MP attended this event along with Father Denis O’Bryan (Parish Priest – St Agatha’s Parish, Cranbourne), Father Peter Slater (Administrator of the Sale Diocese) and special guest Bishop Michael Apochi (Bishop of the Diocese of Otukpo in Benue State in Nigeria).

“This Blessing was a special event, as it was the blessing of a convent which houses three very special women from Nigeria. They are Nigerian Catholic nuns who basically have, as part of a project of the exchange between Nigeria and Australia, come to Cranbourne to spend their time nourishing and enriching the area. They are amazing people. I would like to mention particularly Sister Grace, Sister Mary and the very formidable Sister Mercy, who is the head nun,’ said Mr Byrne.

“This project of inviting Nigerian Catholic nuns and seminarians from Nigeria to Australia was embarked upon as a consequence of a discussion between Bishop Michael Apochi, the Bishop for Nigeria, and Bishop Christopher Prowse, who is now the Archbishop of Canberra. It is amazing seeing the great works which are occurring here. A couple of priests have come over from Nigeria as well. I am very grateful to Bishop Prowse for the work he has done. The St Agatha’s Parish Convent is an amazing new building, certainly much larger than the smaller one which curently houses three nuns. This great project just goes to show the strength and resilience of the Catholic Church and its reach into the international community as well,’ said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Delay in the rollout of the headspace Fountain Gate

May 30, 2014


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Casey’s Youth including Dani Rothwell, Emily Cooper, Jake Downward and Steph Bruders to raise concerns about the delay in the rollout of headspace Fountain Gate due to the Abbott Government’s cuts to Medicare Locals.

Earlier this year the South East Melbourne Medicare Local (SEMML) was awarded the tender to be the lead agency that would run the headspace Fountain Gate/Narre Warren. SEMML was awarded the tender having successfully established headspace Dandenong within four months.

Despite their excellent work in establishing headspace Dandenong, SEMML has been informed by the Abbott Government that they can no longer establish the headspace Fountain Gate/Narre Warren due to a decision in the Budget 2014 to abolish Medicare Locals in favour of Primary Health Care Networks. This has created enormous confusion and potentially means a new tender process which would significantly delay the establishment of the headspace Fountain Gate.

Young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues in the local community are disappointed by this delay in establishing a headspace at Fountain Gate/Narre Warren.

The popular headspace service provides support in areas ranging from mental health issues, to drug and alcohol problems, physical health, social and vocational support.

Anthony Byrne MP said ‘We need this service as soon as possible. Our area has a significant youth population and deserves a youth friendly mental health service as soon as possible. Why should our young people be denied a service they deserve and desperately need’.

‘We need to keep fighting. There are more than 60,000 young people in the City of Casey. It’s simply not good enough to let politically fuelled reform overtake the establishment of headspace Fountain Gate as a priority. Our young people need this headspace and we need it now,’ said Dani Rothwell.

For more information about the national headspace program, see www.headspace.org.au.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.


Quick Links

Quick Link Quick Link Nation Building Australian Electoral Commission Sporting Champions Labor History Quick Link