R U OK? Day

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:29): Thank you, Mr Acting Speaker, and I acknowledge the fine job you are doing today. I support the motion by the member for Waite:

That this house—

(a) recognises that 10 September 2018 is World Suicide Prevention Day and 13 September 2018 is R U OK? Day;

(b) recognises the importance of both these days in raising awareness and understanding about suicide and its prevention among the community; and

(c) acknowledges all the workplaces, community groups and schools organising R U OK? Day events to encourage conversations among their peers.

It is absolutely vital to have these conversations. I want to talk about some of the groups that are involved. One of these groups is obviously R U OK? I attended an event in Murray Bridge where they were doing a trip around the nation. They had been right around over several weeks. They had been down to Tasmania, which was their last stop, before they came into Murray Bridge, and they were at the Murray Bridge High School. I attended, along with the member for Barker, Tony Pasin, and the mayor, Brenton Lewis.

They had a very interactive presentation to make sure they got the students involved. They managed to get them to interact with the discussion, not least by using a drone inside the stadium to get a group photo of everyone. R U OK? is recognised as a day, but it is something that I know the organisation wants to have as something that happens every day, because it is absolutely vitally important that we do have these conversations every day. As was discussed before, the rate of suicide in this country is close to 3,000 cases a year, and we must all do our bit to assist people so that they do not go down this path.

I may not mention all the groups, but I want obviously to acknowledge the suicide prevention networks. I am involved in one at Coorong and Murray Bridge. Another group, MATES in Construction, do such great work in having meetings with people on the worksite. I do not have the exact statistics with me today, but there is far too high a rate of suicide in the construction industry, and some of that is linked to the ebbs and flows of construction. That happens from time to time, but I want to acknowledge that group for the excellent work that they do in combating suicide.

Obviously, I also want to acknowledge StandBy support group. Tracey Wanganeen has been mentioned. I certainly have had a lot to do with Tracey, her work and her group. Another group that I have had a close association with is Ski For Life, where I think over four days they ski from Murray Bridge up to Renmark.

The Hon. A. Piccolo: Bill Stockman is involved in that.

Mr PEDERICK: Yes, he is, absolutely. There are skiers from all over the place. There were a few from interstate. Some skiers take the challenge to ski for the whole four days, which is a great effort over many hundreds of kilometres of the River Murray. It is always a great event to go down to speak and support these people at the breakfast the day they leave Sturt Reserve in Murray Bridge, spreading their message. It is young ones and older people. It is a great thing that they have the boats available—obviously, recreational ski boats and support boats—to make sure that that event goes ahead, and they have great control over it.

Certainly, the Marshall Liberal government has forged ahead with efforts to tackle South Australia's suicide rate and raise awareness across the state by appointing the Hon. John Dawkins from the other place as the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention. John did a huge amount of work from opposition with regard to suicide prevention. In fact, he was recognised by many of these groups as the advocate from the parliament and that was from opposition, so I commend him for that. He is the absolute advocate in this challenge. I commend him for his new role and the team he has around him.

The 13-member Premier's Council on Suicide Prevention has been established and conducted its first meeting on 27 July 2018. It was an introductory meeting that included the planning of future meetings for this year and the development of the terms of reference for the council. Their next meetings are due to take place on 26 September, part of which the Premier will be attending, and 14 November 2018. I must say that the Governor, the Hon. Hieu Van Le, has requested to host the members of the Premier's Council on Suicide Prevention for afternoon tea at the conclusion of their November meeting. He is very supportive of the work being done in this space.

The Hon. John Dawkins MLC, the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention, has written to all local government mayors and state and federal members of parliament, introducing the Premier's Council on Suicide Prevention and encouraging them all to engage with their local councils and communities, particularly those that do not have an established suicide prevention network. To date, two local councils that currently do not have a formalised suicide prevention network operating in their regions have written in reply to the Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention. As a result, his office and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist are now in liaison and working with them both.

This truly demonstrates the impact and the positive outcomes that can be achieved when members engage with local councils and communities to build on the already established suicide prevention networks across the state. Alongside this is the establishment of an across-government agencies issues group on suicide prevention. This group will include the Department of the Premier and Cabinet assistant chief executive and the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as well as other senior officials from across government.

The issues group will be led by Mr Sam Duluk MP, Acting Speaker as I speak. As a working group of the council, the issues group on suicide prevention will take references from the council, provide reports and make recommendations of matters for discussion. It will also work closely with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, suicide prevention staff and the South Australian Mental Health Commission to identify key cross-sector issues for the public sector in suicide prevention. Nominees for that group are being finalised.

I note that there is a Royal Adelaide Show stand. I commend everyone who is attending that and supporting the South Australian suicide prevention networks. They are handing out 'staying safe' kits. It is a very good thing to have at the Adelaide Show, which can have 500,000 visitors per annum. There is also the annual Ride Against Suicide coming up, the Onkaparinga Seaside Walk for Suicide Prevention and a range of other events happening across this state.

I would like to commend everyone involved in the work against suicide, and I support all the agencies, whether they be government or non-government. I would especially like to acknowledge all the volunteers involved. I commend the motion.

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