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Wedderburn Mental Health Day and Black Dog Ride

Andrew PanozzoThis Sunday, the 18th August sees Wedderburn host a Mental Health Awareness Day from 11am to 3pm at the Wedderburn Community House, 24 Wilson Street Wedderburn.

This day is in part being organised around the arrival of the Black Dog Ride in Wedderburn for lunch. Wedderburn has been extremely supportive of the Black Dog Ride over the last two years and local person Ric Raftis who is the Victorian Co-ordinator for the ride will be making his third trip to the Alice. It is fantastic that the ride is able to stop in Wedderburn and thank the people who have been so supportive of this mental health ride.

The Black Dog Ride is all about raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention. All funds raised this year will be split between Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid to assist in funding their programs. Leo Shultz from the Bendigo Lifeline office will be in attendance on the day, as will Jenny Singe from Headspace in Bendigo to create awareness of the programs offered to young people by that organisation.


All members of the public are welcome to attend this day and find out more about mental health. They are also invited to check out all the bikes and chat with the riders. At this stage, there will be 75 riders coming into Wedderburn.

Special guest on the day will be Adrian Panozzo.  Adrian is the Chief Executive Officer of Reclink Australia

Reclink Australia provides over 1,000 sport and arts programs each month for over 500 community organisation supporting people experiencing issues related to mental illness, addiction, disability  homelessness, domestic violence and social isolation.  

Last year Reclink Australia provided over 100,000 participation opportunities to Australian's experiencing disadvantaged and is on track to achieve greater outcomes this year. 

In 2012 Adrian created and launched the Choctober campaign - and in addition to raising $50,000 the campaign engaged over 2,000 participants and donors in the month long campaign aimed at increasing the awareness of issues relating to mental health and addiction.

Some of his other achievements include:

  • 2007 Churchill Fellow
  • Two times finisher of the Marathon de Sable - a 250km - 7 day race across the Sahara Desert 
  • Former AFL Field umpire
  • 1998 Hawaii Ironman World Championships finisher
  • 2nd place team behind the Queen’s Guard Gurkhas in the 2005 Oxfam 100km Trailwalker Challenge

Adrian will be speaking on his run across the Sahara and also the work he does in the mental health sector.

For further information about the Black Dog Ride you can visit the web site at http://blackdogride.com.au or call Ric Raftis on 0407 412100. You can also donate to the Black Dog Ride and assist Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid in their work.


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