Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing

Dec 7, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, joined by Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, met with staff from Headspace Narre Warren and Casey’s youth for a Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing at Headspace Narre Warren today.

At the Casey Youth Mental Health Briefing staff from Headspace Narre Warren provided an update on how their service was progressing and local young people were able to convey concerns and ideas about what else needs to be done to support young people suffering from a mental illness in the local community.

Since the Summit on Youth Suicide in 2012 Anthony Byrne MP has led efforts to ensure two headspaces were built in Dandenong & Narre Warren. But with a Casey youth population of over 60,000 people there is still more to do to assist young people in the local area.

At the briefing Senator Katy Gallagher also outlined some of Labor’s plans to provide better support for people with a mental illness and action to prevent suicide in the lead up to next year’s Federal Election.
Labor believes that long term mental health reform focused on delivering a more integrated, cross-sector and whole-of-government mental health care system must be a national priority but it requires national leadership.

Nearly one in five Australian adults will experience mental ill heath each year and nearly half of our adult population will experience a mental illness at some point during their lives.
On the spectrum of mental illness, around 65,000 people have a severe and persistent psychological disability; 625,000 people have a severe episodic illness with complex needs; and, another three million people will experience mild to moderate mental ill health each year.

Each year approximately 65,000 Australians attempt to take their own life. In 2012, over 2,500 people died from suicide, almost double the road toll.

Australia must deliver a system which is centred on early intervention and prevention as well as person-centred care and integrated support services for people living with mental illness.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Local Student with a Bright Future

Oct 6, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, today met with Andrew Leong a local Monash University student who recently completed his PhD and his father & community leader Ni Tec Leong. Andrew was recently awarded a prestigious position as a post-doctoral researcher at John Hopkins University in Maryland in the United States of America.

Andrew Leong is a distinguished student. His PhD addressed one of the leading causes of death among Australians – respiratory diseases (for instance, lung cancer, emphysema and cystic fibrosis).

“Many of these respiratory diseases can be successfully treated if detected early. However, our current diagnostic techniques are inadequate in early detection of such diseases. The aim of my PhD project was to develop more sensitive diagnostic techniques that were also safe for the patient. As a physicist, I collaborated with engineers and physiologists to develop these techniques. Currently, we are testing the techniques in advanced facilities; including the Australian Synchrotron and SPring-8 in Japan,” said Mr Leong.

“I was recently awarded a position as a post-doctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland for up to 5 years. I will be collaborating with many teams, one of them being the Defense Threat Reduction Agency who are responsible for countering weapons of mass destruction. My specific project is to study the damage induced on materials under different extreme circumstances such as missile attacks and earthquakes. The knowledge gained from this will help improve the design of buildings and vehicles in withstanding such extreme circumstances,’ said Mr Leong.

“Andrew Leong is a talented young physicist with a bright future. He is a wonderful example of a young man from our area making his mark on the world stage. I am very proud that he will be working at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world. I wish Andrew all the best on his future journey and I look forward to hearing reports on his research and his achievements,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Government to continue Inborn Error of Metabolism Programme

Aug 5, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP today met with wonderful mums Wendi and Tracey and their sons Reef & Harrison to celebrate the Federal Government’s decision that will continue funding of $250 per month for the Inborn Error of Metabolism (IEM) Programme.

Over the past few months parents across Australia like Wendi & Tracey have led a successful community campaign to ensure they maintained their $250 per month IEM Grant to financially support them in continuing to purchase strict low protein products for their children who suffer from the Inborn Error of Metabolism disorder.

In the Budget 2015 the Abbott Government decided to finish the IEM Programme on 31 December 2015, as a $11.7 million budget saving measure but it would have increased the cost of living pressures on families with children suffering from IEM.

“I am so proud of the local community campaign led by Wendi Emmerson and Tracey Scott who as parents continue to go above and beyond in looking after their children Reef and Harrison but who need financial support to purchase the strict low protein products for their children. I welcome Minister Sussan Ley’s decision to continue the IEM Programme but I wish to point out that it should not have been cut in the first place. Children like Reef and Harrison have a unique condition, which should automatically result in Government support. I will continue to campaign to ensure this IEM Grant remains a permanent feature in the Federal Health Budget in the years ahead,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Anzac Centenary – “Compassion In War” – Australia & Turkey’s Enduring Friendship

Jul 14, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP today met with Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne with a painting from the recent Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show, which took place on 4-5 July 2015 in Narre Warren.

As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir was invited by Provenance Artists Inc to attend and he was deeply moved by a painting entitled “Compassion In War” by Gabriele Jenkins depicting an Australian soldier sharing a drink from a mug with a Turkish Solider at Gallipoli in World War I.

Recognising the sacrifice made by both Australian and Turkish soldiers at Gallipoli and endeavouring to symbolise the deep connection between the Australian and Turkish people Anthony Byrne MP determined to donate this special painting to the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne.

“I am deeply honoured to meet with the Turkish Vice Consul Mr Ersel Ozdemir to present the “Compassion In War” painting on behalf of the local community to the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Melbourne. The first military encounter of Turkey and Australia was on the battlefields of Çanakkale (Galliopli) and this created a bond of mutual respect, admiration and close friendship that has endured for the last 100 years,” said Mr Byrne.

The warm sentiments between Turkish and Australian nations were best voiced in the message of the Great Turkish Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was sent to the Australian and New Zealander mothers in 1934 and is as follows: “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

“This painting is a recognition of Australia’s close friendship with Turkey. With over 60,000 Turkish Australians now living in our country we are keen to build on our friendship in the years to come,’ said Mr Byrne.

As part of the Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show all the paintings on display will be donated back to the community after the art show. Any school, sporting group, community group or other organisation in Holt that is interested in an Anzac Centenary commemorative painting to be displayed in their facility should contact Anthony Byrne MP’s office on 9796 7533.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Tax Help in Holt

Jul 7, 2015


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 Monday 3rd August 2015 and running until the end of October 2015.

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.

Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show – 4-5 July 2015

Jun 15, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP last week caught up with Calvin Bell from Provenance Artists Inc to promote and invite the local community to attend the upcoming Holt Anzac Centenary Fine Art Show on 4-5 July 2015 at the Mechanics Institute Hall, 59 Webb St, Narre Warren from 10am-5pm each day. Cost: Adults $5, Students $2 & veterans complimentary.

“I wish to congratulate Mr Calvin Bell and all the members from Provenance Artists Inc for organising this wonderful event that will showcase the finest Anzac Art from 30 local leading artists, which was funded under the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program,” said Mr Byrne.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.

Sky News Interview with Laura Jayes – 1 June 2015

Jun 2, 2015

Sky News Interview with Laura Jayes about National Security matters and the proposed Citizenship laws.

Plebs, Pros & Personalities 24hr Run

May 1, 2015


Personalities and Professional Athletes join forces with the Public to raise money for Suicide Prevention across the nation for 24 hours running on treadmills.

For the first time Melbourne will take part in a national 24 hour treadmill run raising money for Suicide Prevention Australia. The Plebs, Pros and Personalities 24 hr treadmill run will be hosted by Kane’s Crusade (Depression Support Charity) on Friday the 8th May 2015 (5pm start) till 6pm Saturday 9th May 2015. The event raises funds for Suicide Prevention Australia. It will be Hosted at Westfield Fountain Gate’s Community Mall. The event will coincide with events being held across the nation including in Perth, Gold Coast, Wollongong and Sydney.

The event will see members of the Public, Celebrities and Professional Athletes running against each on treadmills for the entire 24 hours. The idea of the 24 hr run is not to assess people’s level of fitness or skill or create a competitive environment. In fact the opposite is sought. The event centres around people encouraging, supporting and helping each other to complete their allotted 15 MIN spot on the treadmill.

Participants are of all ages, genders and athletic ability are welcome. You can run, walk or even crawl on the treadmills. The participants are able to gain a sense of giving back and helping support those suffering with mental health issues.

The event was created in Sydney three years ago by Ben Higgs and Matt Dee after losing loved ones to suicide. Both men felt compelled to do something. They wanted to create an event that not only raised funds for Suicide Prevention Australia, but also raised awareness of the issue with the community. An offset of this event, is that people struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts were able to connect with the event, and find support and encouragement to fight their illness and seek help and treatment.

The event has raised over $500,000 since its inception and funds have gone towards creating the first stage of an online tool kit called ‘Communities Matter’. This toolkit had been created to help and assist community-driven suicide prevention. The toolkit provides guidance and information on how to deal with a suicide in your community, how to develop and promote community inter-connectedness and resilience and how to establish or improve suicide prevention groups in the community. More funds are needed in 2015 to allow for more ground work to be established and to allow communities to interact and communicate together on the issue of suicide prevention.

The Melbourne event is set to be a fun filled event with appearances from Jane and Emma from Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules, Australian Champion Boxer Sam Soliman and AFL champ Campbell Brown. There will be face painters, balloon artists, local bands and singers, online auctions and exciting presentations from local martial arts experts.

The Melbourne PPP4SPA event has had the full support from Federal Political Mr Anthony Byrne Member for Holt. Mr Byrne has been a fantastic supporter of Kane’s Crusade and has a mental health Background.

Mrs White said “Mr Byrne’s support for not only Kane’s crusade but the community as a whole is amazing, we cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for our charity as well as mental health as a whole in our community”

“I hope that the public will show their support for Fawn Brady and Jessica White from Kane’s Crusade on Friday 8th May 2015 and Saturday 9th May 2015 for the Plebs, Pros & Personalities 24 Hour Run at Westfield Fountain Gate. Kane’s Crusade has done incredible work in raising awareness about depression in our community and its terrible costs. Their work literally saves lives. We can help those with depression by supporting them and their ongoing work to assist those suffering from depression,” said Mr Byrne.

Jessica White and Fawn Brady, founders of Kane’s Crusade were thrilled to be asked to host the first ever Melbourne PPP4SPA event. “It is such a fantastic initiative for such a wonderful charity (Suicide prevention Australia)” said Mrs White.

Kane’s Crusade was founded in 2013 after Fawn Brady lost her younger brother Kane to suicide at the age of 23.

Mrs Brady said “if we can help one person, save one life, save one family from going through the heart ache my family feel daily, our mission is complete”.

Mrs White stated: “We have worked incredibly hard to create awareness and support of depression in our community. Suicide is a leading cause of death for young Australians, particularly young men. The national suicide toll is higher than that of the national road toll and yet the public are unaware”.

Kane’s Crusade continues to seek awareness and support of their major project of establishing a centre specialising in the treatment of depression in the community.

People can register to run/walk on the treadmills for $25 for 15 mins at the Melbourne event. Registrations are via the website

We would like to Thank Bianca Slater, Westfield Fountain Gate, UFT Playgrounds and Good Life Health Clubs for their amazing support with this event.

For more information about the event or to get involved please email [email protected] or visit

Contact details:Jess White -Event Organiser 0405 770 366
Fawn Brady -Event Organiser 0456 111 334
Bianca Slater -Event Organiser

Email: [email protected]
Website: or or
Instagram: @ppp4spa or @kanescrusade
Twitter @ppp4spa

National Youth Week 2015 at Headspace Narre Warren

Apr 14, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, visited Headspace Narre Warren as part of National Youth Week with a number of Casey’s young leaders.

As part of National Youth Week Anthony Byrne MP convened a meeting with representatives of Casey’s Youth that included Dani Rothwell, Amanda Carron, Adam Sullivan, Faisal Najibi, Syed Najibi, Mujeeb Najibi and Bao Truong, to receive a briefing from the staff at Headspace Narre Warren on how this local youth mental health service can assist Casey’s youth.

The ages of between 15 and 24 years are a crucial time in the development of a young person. It coincides with the peak onset of serious mental illness, including a first episode of psychosis. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, mental illness accounts for 50 per cent of the total disease burden among young people aged 12 to 25 years in Australia, and 75 per cent of mental disorders will have developed by the age of 25. Therefore, concerted efforts focusing on early identification and effective intervention have now become an increasing public health priority, not only for Australia but throughout the world.

In light of this it is important that we now have a Headspace in Narre Warren that will provide youth mental health advice, support and information to young people aged 12-25 years. There are approximately 60,000 young people in the Casey region. Headspace Narre Warren also provides early-psychosis treatment EPPIC or a Helping Young People Early (HYPE) service to young people. EPPIC is a world renowned model of specialised early intervention in psychosis care, first developed by Professor Patrick McGorry, former Australian of the Year, at Orygen Youth Health in 1992. Headspace Narre Warren will hold its grand opening shortly. After a long community campaign it is fantastic that the facility will be fully operational.

“National Youth Week is a great week to meet with young people. Casey’s youth have been instrumental in campaigning for Headspace Narre Warren. It is vital they understand what the facility has to offer so they can spread the word about the great benefits of this Headspace for local young people in our community,’ said Mr Byrne.

National Youth Week (NYW) is the largest celebration of young people in Australia. Thousands of young people aged 12-25 from across Australia are involved in NYW each year. This is the perfect opportunity for young Australians to embrace the 2015 theme of It starts with us and jump on board the most epic celebration of young people in Australia.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533

Restoring Funding to the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service

Apr 13, 2015


Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, visited the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service today to discuss with Lisa Gross and Vina Fernandez the reinstatement of Legal Service Funding for the next two years for the centre.

“We welcome the recent announcement by the Federal Attorney General to reinstate legal service funding of $200,000 for the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service for the next two years to allow the Narre Warren office to keep operating. However, while the Federal Government has restored legal service funding for this centre for the next two years the cuts to the centre’s financial counselling service still remain. This has led to the loss of three experienced financial counsellors that have provided much needed support to the local community. We will continue the campaign to have all the funding restored to the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service,” said Mr Byrne.

The reinstatement of funding of $100,000 per year for two years to the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service comes after a successful petition signed by 469 people that was tabled in the Federal Parliament by Anthony Byrne MP, that raised the concern that the cut in funding will lead to a loss of 1,144 hours of managerial work per year and would undermine the current assistance it provides to over 1,500 local people—mainly women—with family violence issues per year.

Federal Labor calls on Senator Brandis to fully reverse these unnecessary cuts to legal assistance funding to community legal centres. Senator Brandis may have restored some of the funding increase Labor gave to Community Legal Centres in 2013, but he has not backed away from the $6 million cut in the last Budget.

The uncertainty created by these cuts means Community Legal Centres in our region have already lost experienced staff and reduced the services they provide.

‘These services offered by the Casey Cardinia Legal Service are absolutely essential’, said Mr Byrne.

The funding of $400,000 over four years that was allocated back in 2013 under Labor to keep the Narre Warren office operating had been cut by the Abbott Government in last year’s Budget but that funding has now been restored to keep this vital legal service in our rapidly growing community operating. The aim now is to have funding restored to the Casey Cardinia Community Legal Service’s financial counselling program that had provided vital assistance to hundreds of people suffering from financial difficulty in the local community.

Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533


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