Editorial July 10 2018

A poem by Chantelle Jary sums up the feelings of many in our region.

The poem reads in part _

The sun came up and brightly too – But the world has lost its Grace.

Faces smile and laughter heard – But the world has lost its Grace.

A day the same for all it seems – But the world has lost its Grace.

There’s beauty still but now less so – For the world has lost its Grace.

In her 13 short years on the planet Grace, or Gracie, Wallis made an enormous impact. Over the years we have followed Gracie’s life, admiring her courage and beauty on a journey which has now come to an end just a week after her 13th birthday.

What Gracie achieved in her 13 years many of us could only hope to achieve in a lifetime. Gracie’s mother Susan so beautifully summed up her loss and Gracie’s impact on Monday.

“Our hearts are broken and always will be,” Susan said.

“In the words of Olaf from Frozen, which we watched 17 times a day, `some people are worth melting for’.

“Disabled does not mean lesser. It just means different. Gracie gave more and is worth more than so many people who walk and talk and live a whole lifetime.”

Even in her passing Gracie will have a lasting legacy on this community. Her family has begun to raise funds via a GoFundMe page, which will be for a $2000 scholarship in Gracie’s honour.

A scholarship is a fitting tribute to her legacy. As Gracie’s big sister Sophie points out, she was Grace by name and Grace by nature. 

BE A COMMUNITY BEACON

In just a couple of days we’ve already seen 200 people willing to be beacons in the fight against suicide in our community.

The Care to QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer campaign launched by the Illawarra Mercury and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative calls on our community to be the champions of change.

We are asking the community to take the online QPR course with a donation of $10,000 from Health Minister Brad Hazzard and secured by Keira MP Ryan Park enabling the first 1000 in the community to be free.

To secure one of the free QPR licences on offer, current for three years, community members should go to www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au/QPR

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