Announcing the 2020 LiFE Awards Finalists
The annual LiFE Awards receive nominations from across Australia, and we are overwhelmed with the quality of nominations, showcasing the diverse, innovative and exciting range of work being undertaken in suicide prevention. The LiFE Awards celebrate the commitment and determination of those working towards the reduction of suicide within our communities.
The winners for each category will be announced on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2020
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Award:
- Brian Dowd: for his work as the Walkabout Barber. Brian is a Gamilaraay man, who visits Aboriginal communities throughout New South Wales and Queensland with his mobile barbershop. He works closely with elders, community leaders and education services to promote his visits. His qualifications in indigenous trauma and recovery put him in a unique position to promote cultural and spiritual healing, to prevent suicide in a sensitive way.
- Dr Lynore Geia: for her work on the Palm Island Suicide Prevention Network. Dr Geia was pivotal in getting C.O.R.E.S Suicide Prevention on Palm Island, and has invited both StandBy Support After Suicide and the National Indigenous Critical Response Service to work closely with the local community.
Communities Matter – Individual Award:
- The Hon. John Dawkins MLC: for his work advocating for suicide prevention in the South Australian Parliament. Mr Dawkins is the state’s first Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention, and advocated for funding that led to the development of the 2017-2021 State Suicide Prevention Plan, and the State Mental Health Services Plan 2020-2025. John has also advocated for a suicide register, a Suicide Prevention Council, training programs and the development of State Suicide Prevention Networks.
- Lindy MacGregor: for her dedication to suicide prevention across her 30-year career. Formerly CEO of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, Lindy was instrumental in the introduction of LivingWorks ASIST and safeTALK to Australia in 1996. She has delivered more than 400 ASIST Workshops, 100 ASIST Train the Trainer Programs and more than 100 safeTALK workshops, as well as training 600 safeTALK trainers. She is one of the most experienced suicide intervention skills trainers in the world.
Communities Matter – Organisation Award:
- Grapevine Group: Grapevine Group has delivered suicide prevention training to over 5,500 people in the Mackay region for free, including safeTALK, ASIST and Suicide Mythbusters. They compiled the Mackay region’s list of local suicide prevention resources, promoted online. They have distributed over 200,000 Help-a-Mate wallet cards with the printed list. Grapevine strives to reduce the stigma of suicide and its long-term efforts have resulted in a community which more openly discusses suicide.
- Eastern Mental Health Program: Eastern Mental Health Program have developed the Promoting Hope & Connection in Life – Zero Suicide Strategy, a data-driven program co-designed with people with lived experience of suicide, local community, and local and national health services. They have started a partnership with 14 key stakeholders including Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, headspace and local government.
Emerging Researcher Award:
- Nicola Jamieson: for her research into suicide prevention in Australian veterans. Since losing her son, Nikki has dedicated her life to suicide prevention and has qualifications as a Suicidologist. She is currently completing a Ph.D on veteran suicide and exploring an innovative approach to suicide prevention in Australian veterans that includes postvention. Nicola’s Ph.D involves participation of ex-serving organisations and veterans.
- Dr Zac Seidler: for his work on male suicide prevention. Over the past five years, Dr Seidler has worked tirelessly treating, researching, and writing about suicidality in men. His goal is to improve our understanding of how masculinity impacts a man’s decision to take his own life, and how and when intervention is most effective. In addition to his own treatment caseload of at-risk young men, his unique academic roles at men’s health charity Movember and youth mental health leader Orygen, Dr Seidler has also presented in clinical, academic and community settings at conferences, workshops, workplaces, schools, sporting clubs and to mainstream media.
- SANE Australia: for the Better Off With You campaign. Better Off With You is an innovative, evidence-informed suicide prevention campaign pilot, delivered in partnership with Northern Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN) and Northern Queensland PHN. The pilot had a research component to ensure safety, measure impact and inform future national suicide prevention activities. By speaking directly to those who themselves may be contemplating taking their own lives, this campaign breaks new ground in developing and testing a model which could be scaled to reach those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
- Operation Compass (Northern Queensland Primary Health Network): Operation Compass is one of twelve National Suicide Prevention Trial sites, based in Townsville. Since the formation in 2017, the project has been actively involved in the practice of suicide prevention for Veterans and their families in the Townsville community. The Check Your Mates campaign is a key outcome of the Operation Compass project. Operation Compass first introduced the Check Your Mates campaign in 2018 as a way of generating awareness of the need to touch base with family and friends in our mission to reduce suicide and increase wellbeing in our Defence and ex-Defence community.
- St John of God Community Alcohol and Drug Service (Southwest): Southwest Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) is a leading workplace in the development of internal and external capacity for suicide prevention within the Southwest WA region. Southwest CADS has implemented an Australia-first process of embedding the suicide intervention skills training they provide for all staff into the clinical practice framework and safety planning of clients. This involved development of policy and procedures around suicide safety, and the sharing of this framework with other organisations and partners.
- Ambulance Tasmania: Ambulance Tasmania (AT) is a state-wide Tasmanian employer that engages over 400 staff and 500 volunteers. They have significant contact with the general public, including responding to suicide. AT has actively engaged their workforce though several initiatives to change the way employees and volunteers view mental health and suicide. They have embarked on a cultural change program which is directly aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of both staff and volunteers. The impact of this approach has directly influenced a change in the attitudes, beliefs and conversations within AT about mental health and wellbeing.