Vollies and celebs show up for mental health

Vollies and celebs show up for mental health

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R U OK Day
Landcare SJ’s Francis Smit with Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and local Landcare champion Athol Wigg.

Landcare SJ and the Jarrahdale Heritage Society recently marked their fifth annual R U OK Day planting and morning tea event at Gooralong Valley, along with an extraordinary turnout of 80 volunteers.

The planting event aimed to address community mental health through the R U OK? message: Ask, Listen, Encourage Action and Check In.

The day began with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony performed by traditional dance group Binjareb Middars, before volunteers got down to business planting 1300 seedlings and enjoying morning tea together – and the chance for a catch up.

Under the umbrella of R U OK Day, participants took the opportunity to check in with one other whilst admiring the results of their handiwork.

Landcare SJ Executive Officer Francis Smit carried the message from Landcare SJ’s planting day events with him when he attended the 2022 National Landcare Conference in Sydney, giving a presentation entitled Landcare for Community Mental Health.

Using the R U OK Day planting events as an example, Mr Smit outlined the mental health benefits of collaboration, learning, sharing and contributing that come from participating in such events.

Emceed by gardening guru Costa Georgiadis, the three-day conference brought 140 speakers and four panels together to discuss issues from climate action to sustainable farming.

To learn more about Landcare SJ events, visit landcaresj.com.au