The big blue bus arrived in Western NSW in August 2014 and the first stop was Bathurst.
On 18 August the Roadshow team joined a number of local service providers in Kings Parade for a health expo and community barbecue. Coordinated by Western NSW Medicare Local, organisations such as Centacare, Headspace Bathurst, Lifeline Central West and the Benevolent Society came together to offer information and advice to the community.
The following day the bus headed to Orange for another gathering of local health services, again with Western NSW Medicare Local. Dozens of people came along to Bunnings Orange to pick up free information and enjoy a sausage sizzle cooked up by the Orange Men’s Shed. NSW Member for Orange Andrew Gee stopped by to say hello and wish Beyond Blue well on its journey.
On Wednesday 20 August, the Roadshow made a special visit to the town of Manildra. The community of around 500 had managed to raise a huge amount for Beyond Blue during its annual Mill2Mill Charity Bike Ride. Concerned about mental health and suicide in the region, 43 cyclists had spent four days riding 630km from the Bomaderry Mill to the Manildra Mill and raising money along the way.
After a morning of art activities with students at St Joseph’s Primary school, the community gathered for a morning tea and to present a cheque for $37,840 to Beyond Blue. Another cheque for $13,051 was also presented from the Manildra and Community Fundraiser Ball.
On 21 August the bus arrived in Dubbo and visited senior students at Dubbo College. Beyond Blue speaker Josh Muncke shared tips for helping a friend and the importance of maintaining good mental health. The bus then headed to the men’s shed in Victoria Park for a free community barbecue. Dozens of people stopped by to chat with Beyond Blue and Medicare Local staff and pick up free resources.
That evening, the team set up an information table within the Dubbo RSL and chatted to diners and visitors to the club. Alesco Learning Centre in Dubbo received a visit on Friday 22 August with Josh Muncke again presenting to students.
Condobolin was next on the itinerary. The Roadshow team travelled across from Dubbo to attend the Condobolin Show. Adding to the free information on offer at the marquee were free blue cupcakes and a blue jellybean guessing competition. There were 2632 blue jelly beans in the jar!
The visit to Western NSW wrapped up with a Depression Awareness Day in Warren. Hundreds of people turned out to the Warren Sports Centre for the event, organised by the Friends and Family Depression Awareness Committee in Warren. Speakers at the event included former Australian rugby union player Julian Huxley, Black Dog Institute speaker Nic Newling, Psychiatrist Professor Chris Tennant and Psychologist Tonelle Handley.
Thanks to Western NSW Medicare Local and all the wonderful and generous communities who gave Beyond Blue such a warm welcome! Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops around Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.