We are a community led network empowered to reduce suicide in the Whitsundays & Burdekin.

Our Misson

We are a community led Network driven to reduce suicide and its impact on our regions. We achieve this through supporting groups from within the community to deliver: education, training and by inspiring conversation and collaboration.

Our Values

  • Adhering to the highest ethical standards including ‘do no harm’
  • Acting with integrity & transparency in all our relationships, whilst maintaining respect for privacy
  • Valuing people, diversity & inclusivity
  • Collaborating & partnering with those working in suicide & self-harm prevention
  • Maintaining a culture of openness to consider new ideas
  • Continually evaluating and improving our goals and objectives to meet our vision and mission

Our Goals

  • To raise awareness about the Network and gain community involvement
  • To partner with organisations to assist delivery of suicide prevention training, activities, programs and events
  • To raise awareness about suicide and reduce stigma and its impact on families and community
  • To maintain a sustainable Network where members are encouraged and supported

Our Story

The Whitsundays region has significant issues with the wellbeing of its community, including mental health, suicide, drugs and alcohol, financial strain and recently the after effects of TC Debbie that impacted the region in late March 2017. 

The region has long been identified as being above the state and national average in suicide. Through our networks, it is evident that there is considerable stress on families and individuals, with increased mental health concerns. Additionally, recent data shows rates suicidal events as well as those needing support are increasing as well as domestic violence, drug and alcohol, child safety, mental health and the need for professional counselling.  Research demonstrates early intervention and support prevents more serious issues developing and can have a direct impact on the issues as well as raising awareness and reducing stigma, and is critical for the health and welling of people, families and the community. However, this region has limited access to preventative and early intervention mental health care and support services. 

These issues led to a group of professionals and community leaders joining together to form a network to address these issues and the formation of a Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN).  WSPN became incorporated in late 2016 and has since grown to have connections at both local and national levels. Recently adopting the Peter Project to help raise awareness and reduce stigma. 

WSPN has also been a guest presenter at the Wesley Lifeforce National Conference in Darwin in 2017 and works closely with Wesley Lifeforce as well as the Whitsunday Isacc Mackay Suicide Prevention Community Action Planning Group (WIMSPCAP)

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Our Region

The Whitsundays region comprises the main towns of Bowen, Collinsville, Proserpine, Cannonvale and Airlie Beach and a number of smaller mainland and island communities covering an area of 23,863 km².  The population is around 35 000 and growing.

“Pristine, stunning, vibrant and picturesque,” are some of the words used to describe this region to the world but the community and local people realise the isolation, transient, rural region they live in.  From the dry cattle and mining country of Collinsville, sleepy outback style town of Bowen and tourist mecca and reef doorstep of Airlie Beach, the region typically lacks the specialised resources and variety of professions found in more metropolitan areas.

How can I help

There are many ways you can help our cause and in turn our communities. You can start simply by having a conversation and helping to reduce the stigma around mental health and other issues. Become a member of WSPN and sign up to support our mission, goals, and vision, simply go to our Join Us page to find out more about becoming a member and other ways you can support our work. Purchase a Peter Project product or make a donation to the Peter Project and help support our work. These are just some of the ways you can help make a difference. If you want to know more, contact us directly at info@wspn.org.au and we will be more than happy to discuss more ways that you can help make a direct difference to our community and save lives.

Board Members

The WSPN held its 2017 Annual General Meeting on the 13th of November 2017 at our office in Cannonvale. After what had been a very productive year for WSPN the following people were voted onto the Board. Moving forward, we believe this new Board of ten brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table that will enable WSPN to move forward in a productive and effective manner continuing to grow and look for ways to reduce the number and effect of Suicide as well as providing support. If you would like to become a member of WSPN and support our work please contact us at info@wspn.org.au

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Ron Petterson

President and Chairman
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Paul Burke

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Olwyn Harris

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Kevin Fancke

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Su Wilmott

Mental Health
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Robin Morrison

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Don McDermaid

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Adriel Burley

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Sharon Radinski

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Ross Romeo