Letters to the editor August 8 2018

BIG BLUE: Surfers off Sandon Point by Margaret Johnston.
BIG BLUE: Surfers off Sandon Point by Margaret Johnston.


The majority of Australians are touched by the impact of mental health in some way.

Many live with the daily burden of anxiety or depression, or care for a loved one.

Devastatingly, thousands of Australians die by suicide each year and many more make an attempt. It is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age, but it can be prevented.

There are thousands of people working tirelessly to make a difference in this field and their efforts could not be more urgent.

Anyone who knows of such a person would no doubt appreciate their achievements, but I would encourage them to take it one step further and nominate them for the Australian Mental Health Prize.

The Prize was established to acknowledge those who are doing innovative work in this area, whether they are involved in the industry as a vocation or are advocates because they have been touched by mental illness.

Acknowledging those who work or volunteer in the industry is an important part of the process to destigmatising mental illness.

Nominations are now open and I urge people to nominate people in your area.

More information and nomination forms can be obtained from www.australianmentalhealthprize.org.au  

Entries close on 7 September.

For those who are living with the burden of mental illness every day, thank you for your support. 

Ita Buttrose AO OBE, Chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group


Malcolm Turnbull’s “captains call” giving $440 millions of taxpayer’s money to The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) deserves to be closely investigated by the parliament.

For it was a decision made without a member of the Public Service being present in the meeting between the chairman of the GBRF and the Malcolm Turnbull.

While Cabinet quickly ratified “the captains call” once it was leaked, it is a decision which prima facie, appears not to be in the public interest.

The GBRF is an organisation overly represented by coal, oil and Bank identities at Board level; Turnbull’s action effectively blindsided other well established research organisations such CSIRO, The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and even the federal government’s own Environment Department. Each of whom under the terms of the contract with the GBRF will be required to apply for research project funding from the GBRF rather than through the normal governmental processes.

 Turnbull’s “captain’s call” gifting the GBRF almost half a billion dollars of taxpayer money has a real smell about it.

At least Tony Abbott’s “crazy captain’s call” to award Prince Phillip an Australian knighthood to throw in his sock draw, only cost the nation embarrassment as a consequence.

Barry Swan, Balgownie

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