Archive for October, 2019

Wrap up of the SunSmart Endurance State Champs

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Check out here for more great shots!

We start­ed our long, excit­ing, thank­ful­ly sun­ny day with the 4km run. In the run, we had Hol­ly Brown (u/14) who came 1st in her age group, Sean McConnon (u/17) who came 2nd, Max Smith (u/17) 5th, Luke McCord (u/15) 3rd and Paul McConnon (45–54) in 2nd.

As we went on the day just kept get­ting warmer and our awe­some offi­cials were out there all morn­ing, we had Vic­ki and Jes­per Ras­mussen. Next, our nip­pers went out there with some of our oth­er com­peti­tors and had a crack in the 2km beach run, our lit­tle (and big­ger) super­stars includ­ed, Lach­lan Bean (u/13) came in 3rd, Mark Hop­per (55–64) 1st, Jaydn Swan (u/12) 3rd, Tom Line­han (u/12) 4th, Cal­lum Foley (u/12) 5th, Leah Dineen (u/13) 5th, James Eliot (u/13) 8th, Jenifer Mills (u/12) 7th and Joanne Bean-Han­ni­gan (35–44) 5th.

With the wind not pick­ing up as ear­ly as thought, the day kept mov­ing through smooth­ly and next, we had the 3km swim. From u/14s we had Hol­ly Brown in 7th and from u/15s we had Jen­na Stum­mer in 3rd, Leigh Kim­ber 10th, Jade Bam­forth 17th, and Luke McCord 7th. In u/17s we had Katie Wad­dell in 7th, Anni­ka Ras­mussen 11th and Mitchell Lee in 8th. Our opens includ­ed Soraya Lee in 1st and Har­ry Jones in 4th. We also had, Aman­da Lee (45–54) in 1st and Troy Baird (35–44) in 2nd.

We had the Nip­per Gold next and our amaz­ing Nip­pers gave it their absolute all, in u/13s we had Beth Bam­forth in 7th, Jess Kim­ber 11th, Emer­son Cheese­man 12th, Isla Bar­clay 14th, Brodie Lee in 3rd, Don­nacha Mur­phy 4th and James Eliot in 19th. The u/12s were up next and we had five boys out there in the mix, Tom Line­han in 3rd, Cal­lum Foley in 5th, Hud­son Baird in 11th, Jaydn Swan in 12th and Eoghan Bar­row­clough in 15th.

We then had one super­star go out for a mas­sive 9km ski pad­dle Soraya Lee (opens) who came in 2nd. At the same time, we had our awe­some 6km ski pad­dlers go off as well, we had Aman­da Lee (45–54) in 2nd, Sarah Greg­son (45–54) 5th, Jen­ni Wood (45–54) 6th, Neve McCloud (u/17) 3rd, Leah Mar­tin (u/17) 6th and Anni­ka Ras­mussen 11th, Mark Hop­per (55–64) 2nd, Robert Bar­ton (45–54) 4th, Troy Baird (35–44) 2nd and Max Smith (u/17) in 7th.

After those long and amaz­ing efforts, the day was fin­ished off with a 3km board pad­dle, we had Soraya Lee (opens) com­ing in 2nd , Neve Macleod (u/17) in 2nd, Leah Mar­tin (u/17) 6th, Katie Wad­dell (u/17) 9th, Anni­ka Ras­mussen (u/17) 10th, Aman­da Lee (45–54) 1st, Jen­na Stum­mer (u/15) 4th, Jade Bam­forth (u/15) 10th, Sarah Greg­son (45–54) 2nd, Hol­ly Brown (u/14) 14th, Joanne Bean-Han­ni­gan (35–44) 4th, Har­ry Jones (opens) 4th, Max Smith (u/17) 9th, Mitchel Lee (u/17) 10th, Troy Baird (35–44) 2nd and Luke McChord (u/15) 10th.

Mul­laloo had a won­der­ful­ly suc­cess­ful day, it was nice and warm, and we just missed the wind, thank you to all the com­peti­tors, water safe­ty and offi­cials. The new sea­son is about to start and we can’t wait to see you all out there again.

Anni­ka Ras­mussen


Mul­laloo had two surf boat crews entered into the Sun­Smart Endurance State Cham­pi­onships on Sat­ur­day 26 Octo­ber. The 7.5km course from Scar­bor­ough had a bit of swell run­ning (enough to get wet head­ing off the beach) but no help from the South West wind, which arrived only as the boats land­ed at Sor­ren­to.

The mens crew of Mul­laloo Bub­ble Wrap, swept by Steve Part (far right), with row­ers (from left) Stu­art Clarke, Trevor War­land, Mar­tin Fisk and Dun­can Gem­mell, won Sil­ver in the 160+ years Mas­ters and bronze in the Open Mens cat­e­gories.

The wom­ens crew of Mul­laloo Jenk­ins, swept by Richard Cal­non, with row­ers (from left) Rachel Kre­mer, Dara Mills, Jo Waller and Maren Scriv­en, won bronze in the 160+ years Mas­ters cat­e­go­ry.

Stu Clarke

Click here for Full Results


Beachies News

Monday, October 28th, 2019

There have been some fan­tas­tic beach results report­ed from the Pre- Sea­son Comp at Leighton Beach and the State Endurance Cham­pi­onships at Sor­ren­to Beach on Sun­day. Con­grat­u­la­tions to all Mul­laloo Beachies who took part in these events!!

Last Wednes­day night the dark skies didn’t deter about 40 Beachies from rip­ping into Explo­sive Pow­er. Mar­tyn Pigg, knows how to draw the crowds and the num­bers that turn up to this ses­sion every week is a tes­ta­ment to his ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment. Martyn’s class is suit­able for all ages and fit­ness types so whether your goal is to com­pete or just get fit for Sum­mer, come down and check it out at 6pm on Mul­laloo Beach.

Beachies sched­ule this week:

Mon­day 6–7pm — Grass sprint train­ing — Mul­laloo Beach Pri­ma­ry school (nip­pers and youth).

Tues­day 5–6pm- Gym ses­sions at the club for youth.

Tues­day 6–7pm — 2km soft sand train­ing for the long dis­tance types Mul­laloo beach.

Wednes­day 6–7pm — Explo­sive Pow­er- Mul­laloo Beach

Fri­day 5–6pm Gym ses­sions at the club for youth with Mar­tyn Pigg.

Fri­day- 6–7pm — Flag / Sprint tech­nique — Mul­laloo Beach (nip­pers and youth).

Sun­day 8–9am — Flag / Sprint tech­nique — Mul­laloo Beach (nip­pers and youth).

Any changes or can­cel­la­tions will be post­ed on Mul­laloo Beachies Face­book page.

Beachies Endurance Cham­pi­onships Results

2KM run:

Name Age Group Over­all Posi­tions
Leah Dineen U13 21
Jen­nifer Mills U12 46
Joanne Bean-Han­ni­gan 35–44 47
Mark Hop­per 55–64 12
Lach­lan Bean U13 5
Jadyn Swan U12 17
Tom Line­han U12 19
Cal­lum Foley U12 22
James Eliot U13 28


4km run:

Name Age Group  Over­all Posi­tion
Hol­ly Brown U14 30
Sean McConnon U17 8
Max Smith U17 19
Luke McChord U15 21
Paul McConnon 45–54 31


Look for­ward to see­ing you on the beach!

A Great Result for Wes Gould

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Last week­end on the Gold Coast, Mul­laloo mem­ber Wes Gould com­pet­ed in the famous Coolan­gat­ta Gold race as part of the Nutri-grain Iron­man series. Wes is one of only 3 Mul­laloo Nip­per Alum­ni who have com­pet­ed in the Coolan­gat­ta Gold, which is now part of the Nutri-grain Iron­man Series.

Wes start­ed as a nip­per at Mul­laloo more than 12 years ago and com­pet­ed as a nip­per, youth and Senior ath­lete for the Club and he was a win­ner of many Club and State Cham­pi­onships, Wes has now achieved his dream of com­pet­ing in the Nutri-grain Iron­man Series. Whilst now com­pet­ing for Kur­rawa on the east coast, he is still an active Club and patrolling mem­ber at Mul­laloo.

Wes fin­ished as the 13th indi­vid­ual Male over the line in the Coolan­gat­ta Gold and 11th in the Nutri-grain Iron­man series. It was an incred­i­ble effort and Wes said “It was a very daunt­ing and chal­leng­ing race with such an expe­ri­enced field of ath­letes I grew up idol­is­ing. It was extreme­ly spe­cial for me to line up next to those guys, which seemed a just trade-off for the many years of hard work from not just myself, but a num­ber of cru­cial peo­ple who have sup­port­ed me over many years”. Asked if he was going to com­pete in the race next year, Wes said “It was an epic race, and as hard as it was, I’m look­ing for­ward to it again”.

Over­all, Wes com­plet­ed the race in 4:20:14, just 14 min­utes behind Nutri-grain Iron­man series win­ner Matt Bevilac­qua and an amaz­ing effort for his first Coolan­gat­ta Gold race.


Big shout out to ISUZU UTE Wanneroo

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

On Sun­day 13 Octo­ber in a con­voy of 4 wheel dri­ves, myself and 11 oth­er enthu­si­as­tic club mem­bers depart­ed from the club at 6am for a day of fun, sun and 4 wheel dri­ving at Lancelin.  A lit­tle over an hour lat­er, we arrived.  First point of call was the bak­ery for brekky and cof­fee then onto our induc­tion.  David and Rose Wil­son (who ran this course) greet­ed us and the induc­tion began.  About an hour lat­er after tyre pres­sure was let down radios installed, we were off.  The fun was about to begin!!!  As we entered the beach, David explained to each of us via the radios what he want­ed us to do and how.  We were off the fun was begin­ning.  One by one we start­ed.  We were half way down the beach when all of a sud­den we came to a halt.  Some­one had got­ten bogged and I wasn’t the first one to do this as I thought I would be.  Rose came back to tow them out but as soon as this was done, anoth­er 4 wheel dri­ve need­ed assis­tance (not from our group).  We con­tin­ued on our way with each per­son in the vehi­cles tak­ing turns hav­ing a go.

On the way back it was my turn.  As my co-dri­ver had gone with Rose, David became my pas­sen­ger.  With his guid­ance, I was off.  Fol­low­ing the tracks of the oth­er vehi­cles, I made it with­out get­ting stuck arriv­ing to the applause of the oth­ers!!  Next we learnt recov­ery and tow­ing bogged vehi­cles out of trou­ble.  After this, the day came to an end.  I had so much fun and enjoy­ment doing this course espe­cial­ly with every­one that attend­ed. We had a laugh, friend­ly ban­ter along the way but most of all we all enjoyed our­selves.  Much to the enjoy­ment of the oth­ers!!!! I had no voice by the end of the day.  A big thank you must go the Glenn and his team from  ISUZU UTE Wan­neroo for loan­ing us the 4 wheel dri­ves for the day. Sor­ry they got sandy Glenn!!!  The next thank you is to Glenn and Rose for run­ning the course.  You both made it so much fun and enjoy­able.  Thank you to every­one that was involved. Well done.

Nat God­win

Be Safe Program

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Last Sun­day we host­ed 30 ECU inter­na­tion­al stu­dents as part of the Be Safe Progam. The Be Safe Pro­gram aims to help inter­na­tion­al stu­dents and migrants learn how to stay safe at Australia’s beach­es, so they can enjoy the beau­ti­ful coast­line! This was organ­ised in part­ner­ship with the Stu­dent group, Enac­tus ECU. 

Thank you to Sandy Clarke for organ­is­ing the day and run­ning the surf edu­ca­tion ses­sion. Shout out to Ter­ry ‘Uppy’ Upston and Bec Mil­lar for demon­strat­ing the IRB and Surf Boats and tour­ing the group around the Club. The stu­dents had a great time and learnt impor­tant life sav­ing skills to stay safe at our beach­es

Oktoberfest — What a night!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Our first social event of the sea­son, Okto­ber­fest, was a fan­tas­tic suc­cess on Fri­day night and it was love­ly to see so many mem­bers, new & exist­ing rock­ing their Leder­ho­sens.

The room looked absolute­ly amaz­ing, I was total­ly blown away with what our awe­some team of socialites man­aged to pull off on the night and we even had a Giant beer mug made out of bal­loons.

It was a great atmos­phere and we are look­ing for­ward to bring­ing you many more fun, themed events at the club so make sure you come on down and join in the fun.

With any event, there is always a lot that goes on behind the scenes and so I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU  to all these AMAZING vol­un­teers who have giv­en up their time to help out with Okto­ber­fest; Stephanie & Lee Dray­cott, Pat­ty & Rob Col­bourne, Marni Black, Tra­cy Cox, Simone Truter, Glen­da Schulz, Rob Mcgre­gor, Trevor Bul­leySandy Clarke, Gaynor Jones, Cindy De Bom­ford, Helen Gigney, Jack­ie Mar­tin, Aman­da Davies, Sarah Browne, Anni­ka Crock­fordPhilli­pa Tay­lor, Don­na Har­ris, Mar­tyn Pigg, Jen & Karen.

We also had some AWESOME younger mem­bers who gave up their time to help out on the night with Face­paint­ing, Games &  Gin­ger­bread mak­ing. These love­ly vol­un­teers are great role mod­els and real­ly did a fan­tas­tic job. Thank you to Liam Crock­ford, Aimee Hon­or, Zara Mar­tin, Danielle Hon­or, Leah Mar­tin, Sarah Truter, Jess Cox & her friend.

Tanya Hon­or

Beachies News

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Beachies, we have our train­ing sched­ule right here!

Any changes or can­cel­la­tions will be post­ed on Mul­laloo Beachies face­book page.

Mon­day 6–7pm — Grass sprint train­ing — Mul­laloo Beach Pri­ma­ry school. Come down and take advan­tage of the knowl­edge and exper­tise of sea­soned Mul­laloo ath­lete Jeff David­son. Mon­day ses­sions con­cen­trate on sprints, sprint tech­niques and relays. (nip­pers and youth)

Tues­day 5–6pm- Gym ses­sions at the club for youth.

Tues­day 6–7pm — 2km soft sand train­ing for the long dis­tance types – Mul­laloo beach.

Wednes­day 6–7pm — Explo­sive Pow­er with the mas­ter of pain….the one and only Mar­tyn Pigg.. this is a great ses­sion for all fit­ness types and will seri­ous­ly assist you in get­ting fit for the sea­son ahead!

Fri­day 5–6pm Gym ses­sions at the club for youth with Mar­tyn Pigg.

Fri­day- 6–7pm — Flag / Sprint tech­nique — Mul­laloo Beach (nip­pers and youth).

Sun­day 8–9am — Flag / Sprint tech­nique — Mul­laloo Beach (nip­pers and youth).

For Mon­day, Fri­day and Sun­day tech­nique ses­sions we will have spe­cial­ist flag/sprint coach­es peri­od­i­cal­ly assist­ing us as the sea­son pro­gress­es.

All feed­back wel­come regard­ing times and train­ing ses­sions.

Vol­un­teers!!!  We will be look­ing for assis­tance with coach­ing as the sea­son unfolds. If you feel you have some skills in this area or just keen to assist with beachies activ­i­ties, please talk to Carl Mills or send a pm on Mul­laloo Beachies face­book page.

Look for­ward to see­ing you on the beach!

South West Youth Camp 2019

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

6 am Tues­day Morn­ing was when our trib­al adven­ture began! Get­ting all 54 campers into the bus­es and down to our des­ti­na­tion. We first start­ed with a stop at the ser­vo before com­menc­ing our first walk from Sur­gar­loaf to Yallingup which was around 11 kilo­me­tres. After set­ting up camp we had our tribe (ran­dom) allo­ca­tions, fol­lowed by the light­ing of the totem and pro­duc­tion of the tribe flags.

Wednes­day came with anoth­er ear­ly start as we had abseil­ing at Wilyabrup Cliffs. This is always a high­light amongst the campers with major­i­ty of them going down the 40 metre cliff. After that we walked from Ellens­brook back to our camp­site at Pre­v­el­ly. Which if you were in my group you would have got­ten very lost!

A few tribe chal­lenges, swim­ming in the riv­er mouth and a birth­day cel­e­bra­tion was the way we fin­ished Wednes­day night.

Thurs­day saw us going into the Caves and learn­ing about the his­to­ry of the area as well as anoth­er walk start­ing at Con­tos and pass­ing Redgate. By this point every­one was tired enough, so we man­aged to get picked up ear­ly and off to the final tribe chal­lenges we went.

After com­pet­ing against one anoth­er for 3 days the win­ning team was Green – “The Crocs”. To cel­e­brate we com­plet­ed the much antic­i­pat­ed ‘Donut Chal­lenge’ before end­ing our last night.

Fri­day pack up came with lots of rain which was a good excuse not to walk! So off to the riv­er mouth we went for final activ­i­ties which every­one can agree was a pleas­ant time for all. We then com­menced the long and wet dri­ve back to Perth while stop­ping at the favourite Bun­bury Forum for the Gold­en Arch­es.

Being a camp leader was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence and one I would def­i­nite­ly put my hand up to do again. I enjoyed see­ing the behind the scenes of how this camp has been put togeth­er as well as being a fun men­tor to those younger mem­bers of the club. Big Thank yous go to Sandy Clarke for organ­is­ing, Steve Mignon and Anne-Marie Wider­man­s­ki for get­ting us to our des­ti­na­tions, Trevor Bul­ley for his knowl­edge and exper­tise in frogs and flow­ers as well as my fel­low camp lead­ers Josh Bull, Tana­ha Worth and Aaron Gigney for the sup­port and con­stant laughs.

Check out this great video I’ve put togeth­er.

Ava Bush­by
2019 Camp Leader (and camp Birth­day celebri­ty!)


Huge thanks to all our camp lead­ers – four days of troop ral­ly­ing, activ­i­ties, fun and laugh­ter – per­haps a few coun­selling ses­sions as well – the usu­al, rela­tion­ships, fatigue etc.

Great effort from Aaron and Ava tak­ing on the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a host of activ­i­ties for all our youth. Thanks Trevor, for your assis­tance and gear with some of these activ­i­ties.

Thanks Steve Mignon for the loan of the Toy­ota Land Cruis­er Pra­do and fuel to boot! It made for an excel­lent emer­gency vehi­cle and extra youth trans­port. Mick from Mar­garet Riv­er Climb­ing Co. once again excelled in get­ting our youth – some coaxed more than oth­ers, down the cliffs at Wilyabrup.

We tri­alled a new cave this year for half the group – Gol­go­tha. This adven­ture cave is not open to gen­er­al pub­lic; a cave expert needs to accom­pa­ny groups. It was a great addi­tion to the activ­i­ties.

Thanks Josh and Tana­ha for accept­ing the chal­lenge of walk­ing with the troops. Per­haps Tana­ha may have lost a lit­tle more than she bar­gained com­ing back minus a phone!

Thanks Don­na Har­ris (Bolog­nese) and Emma Bam­forth (brown­ie slice) for your help in food prepa­ra­tion ahead of the camp!

Thanks Anne-Marie Wider­man­s­ki for help­ing me sort through the 40 plus tents pri­or to leav­ing.

Thanks to the Club for allow­ing me to dri­ve the Club Isuzu Ute – what a stand out vehi­cle!

We have been assured our youth had some pos­i­tive long-last­ing expe­ri­ences and that our new club mem­bers were well intro­duced into the fam­i­ly we love and call Mul­laloo Surf Life Sav­ing Club!

Sandy Clarke

Club Expenditure outlined by the Board

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Dear Mem­bers

The Board of Direc­tors (BoD) are real­ly look­ing for­ward to the new sea­son. One impor­tant part of keep­ing the club mov­ing for­ward is the strate­gic goal of con­tin­u­ous improve­ment of our facil­i­ties, equip­ment and resources to max­imise out­comes for our mem­bers. Some of this is facil­i­tat­ed through annu­al bud­get­ing, some of it through Cap­i­tal Expen­di­ture (CAPEX). In the very near future the BoD will be review­ing pro­pos­als from the Clubs Exec­u­tive in regards to CAPEX items for 2019/20. As we move into this cycle the BoD thought it time­ly to explain the out­come of the last round of CAPEX fund­ing and the process that will be fol­lowed for this in 2019/20.

In 2018/19, fol­low­ing advice from the Club’s Exec­u­tive, the BoD approved the fol­low­ing items for imme­di­ate expen­di­ture. Please note that this CAPEX is on top of the nor­mal bud­gets allo­cat­ed across the port­fo­lios.

$40,000 on Surf sports includ­ing (but not only) new IRB Hulls, Engine and Hel­mets; and a new surf Boat. It should be not­ed that an IRB engine is released into the ‘Life­sav­ing’ resources.

$35,000 on Life­sav­ing and Edu­ca­tion, includ­ing (but not only) new train­ing defibs and resus-annies; a set of resources to facil­i­tate the new obser­va­tion point; var­i­ous tri­pod, new binoc­u­lars and stor­age cab­i­net for exist­ing tow­er; and new safe­ty cones and signs.  Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the BoD has also com­mit­ted to pur­chas­ing a New Patrol Trail­er and the ren­o­va­tion of the first aid room– sub­ject to quotes. This is like­ly in excess of an addi­tion­al 30,000 to 40,000.

$21,000 on Devel­op­ment includ­ing 15 x Krac­ka Fibre­glass Nip­per Boards and addi­tion­al stor­age racks. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly the BoD has also already agreed to an addi­tion­al 15 x Krac­ka Fibre­glass Nip­per Boards for 2019/20.

$20,000 on new AV equip­ment for the Club lounge and bar area to sup­port club events and build capac­i­ty for facil­i­ty hire. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly the BoD has also already agreed to sup­port a new Web­site, sub­ject to quotes.

The BoD has also in prin­ci­pal made a com­mit­ment to a num­ber of oth­er areas, some of which will require reg­u­la­to­ry approvals and or per­mis­sion from the CoJ to progress. The BoD through var­i­ous rep­re­sen­ta­tions and/or com­mit­tees is cur­rent­ly pro­gress­ing these. These include: Club down­stairs toi­let and show­er refur­bish­ment and/or ren­o­va­tions; upstairs bath­rooms; new secu­ri­ty sys­tems and boat shed roller doors x 2; and the pro­vi­sion of shad­ing for the out­side deck­ing area.

CAPEX process for 2019/20

As per last year the BoD is now seek­ing advice and pro­pos­als from the Club Exec­u­tive in regards to CAPEX for 2019/20. The Club Exec­u­tive will con­sult with the var­i­ous Man­agers across the Club and put for­ward a pro­pos­al to the BoD. The Club Exec­u­tive and Man­agers will of course con­sult broad­ly amongst the club.

The BoD will con­sid­er these items and how they best fit with the Club’s Strate­gic direc­tion, and fund accord­ing­ly. These items will typ­i­cal­ly be over and above $1,000. Items under $1,000 will typ­i­cal­ly be includ­ed in the annu­al bud­get­ing process.

Please feel free to con­tact me (Andy Jones) or any oth­er mem­ber of the BoD if you wish to dis­cuss any mat­ter relat­ed to this top­ic.

Thanks, the Board of Direc­tors

Member Wellbeing: Mental Health Week

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

This week is Men­tal Health week in WA and the theme is ‘how we work, live, learn and play’ recog­nis­ing that men­tal health, more specif­i­cal­ly good men­tal health, incor­po­rates all aspects of our lives.

One of the most com­mon ques­tions asked about men­tal health is “Why do so many peo­ple suf­fer from poor men­tal health?”  The answer is very com­plex and as the theme of this year’s Men­tal Health week sug­gests, mul­ti-faceted.

As men­tioned in pre­vi­ous arti­cles, how we work has changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly over the past few decades most­ly due to advances in tech­nol­o­gy.  You don’t actu­al­ly have to be in one phys­i­cal loca­tion to work any­more with many work­places encour­ag­ing flex­i­ble work­ing arrange­ments such as work­ing from home and mobile work­places.  What this means is that the lines between work and home becomes blurred and the sense of belong­ing expe­ri­enced from attend­ing one’s place of work dis­ap­pears.

Humans are rela­tion­al and hav­ing a sense of con­nec­tion to each oth­er helps us to cre­ate our iden­ti­ties and feel as though we are val­ued and belong.   The sim­ple act of see­ing the same peo­ple each day and the rela­tion­ships we build from our work used to last a life­time, how­ev­er, these expe­ri­ences are dis­ap­pear­ing with many peo­ple hav­ing sev­er­al career changes in their lives and the chance to build long and mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships with col­leagues often no longer exist.  If we add to this the fact that many young peo­ple now have to delay their pro­gres­sion to adult­hood until late into their 20’s due to extend­ed peri­od in edu­ca­tion and lack of long-term employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, work no longer pro­vides the same sta­ble oppor­tu­ni­ties to devel­op mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships that it once did.

The same can be said for how we live. It has been sug­gest­ed that this gen­er­a­tion of adults are the loneli­est we have ever been as a soci­ety.  We are indi­vid­u­al­is­tic, liv­ing in our own homes, not know­ing our neigh­bours and many fam­i­lies no longer live in the same coun­try, state or town as their rel­a­tives.  The rate of mar­riage break­downs adds to the dis­con­nec­tion between mem­bers of fam­i­lies.  Sim­ple acts like the fam­i­ly din­ner have dis­ap­peared and rather than com­mu­ni­cat­ing face to face, we text or email each oth­er, some­times whilst under the same roof.

Our places of edu­ca­tion and learn­ing have had to adapt to the changes in fam­i­ly and the make-up of the wider com­mu­ni­ty.  Teach­ers have to add resilience and how to appro­pri­ate­ly express one’s emo­tions to their cur­ricu­lums.  Some schools have tak­en the step of hav­ing a ‘Kind­ness Week” which is actu­al­ly real­ly sad.  We are born to seek out oth­ers and to live in packs and to form mean­ing­ful attach­ments with those we care about who are pre­dictable in their behav­iours and with whom we can share a sense of safe­ty.  Kind­ness is for most, an innate behav­iour and schools hav­ing to ded­i­cate a week to teach our chil­dren how to be kind is frankly quite con­cern­ing.

As for how we play, the obe­si­ty cri­sis in Aus­tralia is tes­ta­ment to the fact that play time is also dimin­ish­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties and with it the chance to prac­tice impor­tant skills like shar­ing, win­ning, co-oper­a­tion and loos­ing.  Like every­thing else in life, if we don’t have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­tice skills, then we don’t know how behave when we win, lose or fail.  There­fore, we sim­ply do not have the lan­guage or skills to be able to cope when life throws us a curve­ball.

Add to this, 9,000 peo­ple sleep­ing rough on our streets every night, the ever increas­ing rates of sui­cide and domes­tic vio­lence in our soci­ety, it is no won­der that our rates of men­tal ill­ness are also increas­ing.

So, what can we do about what seems to be an over­whelm­ing prob­lem?  Like every­thing else that seems unsur­mount­able, we need to start with the sim­ple acts.  Here are a few sim­ple things you can try this week to improve not only your men­tal health, but the men­tal health of those in your com­mu­ni­ty;

  • Pay atten­tion to how many elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions you are send­ing this week. Can you replace some of those with a face to face con­ver­sa­tion or some­thing more per­son­al?  For exam­ple; instead of send­ing a sms or emo­ji for a birth­day, spon­ta­neous­ly vis­it them, phone them to say ‘Hap­py Birth­day’ or send a card with say­ing some­thing thought­ful.
  • Say hel­lo to your neigh­bour when you see them. If they are elder­ly or poor­ly, offer to get them some shop­ping or put out their bin.  A sim­ple act of kind­ness can mean so much, if you do this with your kids, they will learn to care for oth­ers from your exam­ple.
  • Have a board game night with friends and fam­i­ly, let the kids loose and show them that this can be okay (you can also let them win one or two and remind your­self that loos­ing is okay too).
  • Attend one of the local com­mu­ni­ty events for Men­tal Health Week or go to a com­mu­ni­ty event like a school fete. Click here for events.
  • Have a go at doing the well­ness wheel it might help you to iden­ti­fy areas of your life that you may need to pay atten­tion to.
  • Want to know how to invest in your own hap­pi­ness, watch this Ted talk 
  • Go for a walk with the kids around the block before or after din­ner with no devices, you might find out a lot in that walk.
  • Watch a fun­ny movie, laugh­ing togeth­er builds bonds and good mem­o­ries.
  • Book a hol­i­day, you are prob­a­bly due one!
  • Leave work ear­ly or at least on time.
  • If you want to know how lost con­nec­tions adds to the expe­ri­ence of anx­i­ety and depres­sion, watch this Ted talk by Johan Hari or read his book, Lost Con­nec­tions.
  • Final­ly, if you haven’t watched old people’s homes for 4 year olds yet, give it a look. It gives a very insight­ful look into how the sim­ple acts of con­nec­tion and kind­ness change the rates of depres­sion and anx­i­ety.  It pret­ty much sums up the entire theme of men­tal health week and gives some real­ly good feel good moments too!