Saturday, 10th February, 2018
A local artist and a farmer have become the ambassadors for Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast.
Yesterday it was announced that Amanda Johnson and Brendan Cullen will become the organisation’s Regional Ambassadors.
Both born and bred in the Far West, Brendan and Amanda are strong advocates for the community and are passionate about the welfare of those living in rural and remote areas.
Amanda is a renowned local artist who is highly regarded. Her own personal experience has resulted in her commitment towards helping locals struggling with mental health issues.
“I think art is such a great outlet for expressing all types of feelings and emotions,” she said.
“Art can be, and has been for me personally, important in managing my mental health and wellbeing.
“As a Regional Ambassador for Lifeline, I am humbled and thrilled that I have the opportunity to make a contribution in putting my name to something that is very close to my heart.
“I am particularly keen to emphasise female roles in our community and to encourage girls to treat themselves kindly and make themselves a priority. “As an Ambassador for Lifeline I am hoping to encourage women to recognise that it’s perfectly fine to take time for themselves, and most importantly, to not put too much pressure on themselves to meet unrealistic expectations.”
A farmer and self-proclaimed ‘bushy’, Brendan Cullen is the manager of Kars Station; 60kms south of Broken Hill.
A long-time advocate for people living in the bush, Brendan is passionate about helping people to reach out and get support.
“As someone who’s been through it, I know how hard it can be to make that initial step of asking for help; even admitting to yourself that yes I have a problem is challenging,” Mr Cullen said.
“For me attending that first mental health clinic with the RFDS was a life changer. I just hope that I can make a positive difference and encourage blokes out there, especially the ones living on the land that, hey, it’s ok to not always be at your best.
“It’s ok to get help; it’s ok to take time out for yourself.
“As a Lifeline ambassador I’m hoping that by telling my story and openly sharing my struggles it will allow others to do just that. Share and get help.”
As the first Regional Ambassadors for the organisation, Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast CEO Scott Hammond welcomed both Amanda and Brendan to the Lifeline family.
“Together we hope to make further steps in tackling the alarming rate of suicide in our community,” Mr Hammond said.
“We can do this through promoting connection, compassion and conversation - key barriers to suicidal behaviour.
“Having people of such high calibre as Brendan and Amanda, who have both not only experienced but have the courage to share their experiences, is certainly a positive addition to the valuable work that we do.”