The big blue bus celebrated one year on the road when it reached Orbost Men’s Shed in Gippsland on 25 February, 2015.
Nearly 100 locals and school students came along to the shed to enjoy a free social barbecue, hear from Beyond Blue speaker Paul Walshe, and mark the happy occasion with some cake!
The following morning, the team visited the Bairnsdale Saleyards for a free community morning tea. The yards were buzzing for the weekly cattle sale and many people took the opportunity to grab a cuppa and find out what the big blue bus is all about.
Next stop was Sale mall for the afternoon, where shoppers stocked up on free Beyond Blue information and were keen to find out about the local support available to them.
On Friday 27 February more than 60 business owners and managers attended a free breakfast event in Traralgon. Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman presented to the audience, informing them about the Beyond Blue and Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance’s HeadsUp campaign and the simple, practical actions they can take to promote a mentally healthy workplace.
Georgie and the team then headed to Stockland Traralgon, where lunchtime shoppers dropped by the bus to have a chat and take home some free resources.
That evening, the team visited Morwell Bowling Club for free barefoot bowling and a barbecue. Dozens of people enjoyed the music, food and face painting on offer.
On 28 February the bus set up side of stage at the Boolarra Folk Festival. The free event attracted thousands of people and the team was kept busy – providing balloons to hundreds of kids and chatting to people about good mental health.
The following day swimmers hit the water for the Phillip Island Penguin Swim Classic. The bus parked near the Cowes jetty and the team cheered on those braving the 2km and 800m open water challenge.
On Monday 2 March the bus spent the morning in Leongatha, near the South Gippsland Shire Council and Safeway. Many locals came to chat and enjoyed a free morning tea baked by Yooralla. The team then headed to Wonthaggi Plaza for the afternoon.
The visit to the Gippsland Medicare Local region wrapped up at Neerim District Secondary College on 3 March. Students enjoyed a free barbecue and took home free information resources from Youth Beyond Blue and headspace Central West Gippsland.
Thanks to the communities who gave Beyond Blue such a warm welcome and all the wonderful services who provided support – including Gippsland Medicare Local, Orbost Regional Health, headspace Central West Gippsland, Relationships Australia, Mental Illness Fellowship, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Bass Coast Health, Yooralla, Latrobe Community Health Service and SNAP Gippsland, to name a few.
Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops around Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.