21 October 2023

Led by founder and rugby league legend Greg Inglis, the Goanna Academy and Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) will shine a spotlight on mental health at a free community workshop in Bathurst, to help people connect with local support services.

People across Bathurst are encouraged to attend the mental health workshop, which is being hosted by the District's local Community Mental Health Team at 11am at the Kelso Community Hub on Tuesday, 24 October.

The workshop builds on the weekly Mawang Yarning Circle held at the Kelso Community Hub in recent months.

The Goanna Academy, aims to improve mental health outcomes across Australia and particularly in regional men, youth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and founder Greg Inglis will share his personal journey and battles with mental illness to inspire others to seek help.

The Goanna Academy workshop is free and does not require registration. A barbecue lunch will be provided, followed by rugby league-based activities at 1pm and a meet and greet at 2pm.

For mental health advice or to be connected to specialist mental health services, call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Minister for Mental Health, Rose Jackson said​

"This event is a great opportunity for the community to connect, particularly during Mental Health Month. Not just to connect with a Rugby League and mental health champion like Greg Inglis, but also with one another and health professionals.

"Hearing from others with lived experience can be extremely reassuring for people who are considering reaching out for mental health support, but it's also incredibly important they know where they can receive that support in their local community.

"I'm thrilled this event will bring together the community and mental health services and I hope the Goanna Academy's visit will help more people feel comfortable enough to connect with our local teams on the ground."

Founder of the Goanna Academy Greg Inglis said​

"I hope my story can help people in the community feel more confident and comfortable reaching out for support, particularly people in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

"We've all been through some pretty tough times recently and looking after our mental health is more important than ever. I say from experience suffering in silence won't help.

"Support is always there and hopefully people might be able to take something from what I've learned over the years to help them take that next step and get themselves some help.

"Being able to get back out to Bathurst during Mental Health Month will be pretty special, so I'm really looking forward to it."

WNSWLHD Mental Health's Drug and Alcohol Bathurst and Region Hub Manager Josh Spicer said​​​

"We're excited for Greg and the Goanna Academy's visit and we're very grateful to the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service and the Wambuul Life Connection Network, who have supported the workshop from the start.

"The workshop will be a safe space where people can also share their stories if they are comfortable doing so, but I would encourage anyone who might like to just listen to come along too, we'd love to connect with as many people as possible.

"I'm sure many people in Bathurst already feel a connection through rugby league, but physical activity is also a huge benefit to people's mental health."