Grievance Debate - Chaffey

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:40): Thank you, sir, and did you know that today is national R U OK? Day, with this year's theme of 'Are you really okay?' It is a reminder to reach out and to start a conversation with friends, with family and with your work colleagues. We know that mental health and mental illness have been a significant contributor to suicide here in South Australia.

Sadly, most of us have been affected by suicide at some stage in our life. Eight people take their life every day in Australia, and for every death by suicide a further 30 will attempt to take their life. That is a tragedy, and 89 per cent of Australians know someone who has made a suicide attempt.

There are four steps, and I urge everyone who can do something to reach out and ask, 'Are you okay?' and to listen—listen to your friends, your family and your work colleagues. Encourage affirmative action if you think that someone needs to reach out and also check in with some of those service providers that could create a simple conversation and could change someone's life.

I would also like to mention two great organisations in the Riverland: Headspace and the Riverland Community Suicide Prevention Network located in Berri. These organisations champion these messages in the Riverland and host events around the year to promote mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention, all issues close to my community's heart.

On a brighter note, on the weekend I attended the Monash Centenary Military Ceremony. It was a great ceremony on 29 August, and it was a privilege to honour the World War I soldier settlers of Lone Gum, Monash and Glossop at the cairn of the revered General Sir John Monash.

Sir John Monash was regarded as one of the greatest strategists of World War I. He was a great man who gave everything for his country. The commemoration of 100 years of Monash community spirit was brought together by passionate volunteers and more than two years of careful planning. The service demonstrated the pride of our regional towns that puts our regional communities on display. I must acknowledge that the Riverland was brought together and built on soldier settlement blocks.

We had the military service and march, a weapons display and the unveiling of a mural painted by John Seaton and Dean Hembling, two great local artists. In attendance was Brigadier Graham Goodwin, Commander Alistair Cooper and Air Commodore Ross Bender and the local Army and Air Force cadets. It was great to have them there in there military bling. We enjoyed a performance by the South Australian Army Band. In addition to Monash, three great Riverland towns, Barmera, Glossop and Cobdogla, are also celebrating their 100 year birthdays. They were great celebrations for the Riverland communities. I must say that Cobdogla is also celebrating being home to the world-renowned Humphrey Pump. Congratulations to all the volunteers and a special mention to Lloyd Wright and Alison Halupka, who were pivotal to the event's success.

I also want to give a shout-out to Riverland sport. Congratulations to the Renmark A1 netball team, who overcame Barmera last Friday evening. Congratulations to Denika, coach of the Renmark A1 team. It was a fantastic game. I must say it has been a challenging year for all netballers who took part in the 2021 season and they were absolutely outstanding on the night.

I would also like to congratulate Ramco Roosters Football Club, who won the Riverland Independent Football League grand final at Paruna. It was a great day for the Roosters. Congratulations to all involved.

On Monday, Renmark midfielder Tim Woolford was named the 2021 Whillas Medallist at an online presentation. He won by four votes over runner-up, Will Gutsche. I must say that we have some talented sportspeople in the Riverland and some really talented footballers. I am looking forward to Tim Woolford playing his part this weekend when Renmark take on Waikerie at the Loxton Oval for the Riverland Football League grand final. It will be a spectacle. The talent for football and the talent for sport in the Riverland have never been better.

The locals support and rally around their teams. It has been a challenging and disruptive year within our sporting calendar. Congratulations to all of them and good luck to those competing in grand finals.

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