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Tracksafe: First ever Rail R U OK?Day takes industry by storm

  • By Robyn Ward
  • 27 Apr, 2015

On 16 April, the TrackSAFE Foundation and R U OK? initiated an industry specific R U OK? campaign for over 110,000 workers in the rail, transport and storage sector.

R U OK?Day takes industry by storm
Rail R U OK? Day
The campaign was embraced by over 20 stakeholders in the industry, including broader involvement from companies with a direct relationship to the sector (such as Bluescope Steel and Volkswagen Australia).

As an industry affected too often by suicide and other trauma, Rail R U OK?Day was a great campaign to help remind workers about the importance of looking out for one another.

Events and activities took place in over 60 locations and at the heart of the day was a invitation to all staff to make ,meaningful conversations between workmates a way of life.

R U OK? Community Ambassador Justin Geange helped spread the message by sharing his story at a number of events in the lead up to and on 16 April. Justin, a former Queensland Rail worker, inspired many people with his own experience of surviving a suicide attempt and getting through a very challenging time in his life.

As the first industry-led initiative of its type, Rail R U OK?Day strongly supports R U OK?’s strategy to encourage regular, meaningful conversations 365 days of the year.

“R U OK? is committed to working with industry to ensure that everyone who has the capacity to ask “are you okay?” will do so,” said R U OK? General Manager Brendan Maher.

“This campaign was embraced enthusiastically by senior management and provides a great blueprint for other sectors to follow suit,” said Brendan.

“R U OK? Is committed to working with industry, communities and organisations to improve the connections we have with each other and reduce the tragic impact of suicide.”

To find out more, watch this video:


By hello 18 Oct, 2017

A new website that links Australians to online and phone mental health services, information and resources is now live. Head to Health connects people to trusted online and phone mental health services appropriate for their individual needs.

Services and resources listed on Head to Health are delivered by Australia’s trusted mental health service providers including SANE Australia, The BlackDog Institute and Lifeline. They include free or low-cost apps, online support communities, online courses, and phone services that are private and secure.

Head to Health will help people to take control of their mental health, at a time and place convenient to them, complementing or in place of face-to-face services. It supports people seeking help- either for themselves or someone they care about.

Head to Health is not only helpful when seeking support for a mental health condition, it also provides information about staying mentally well for every Australian.

Head to Health was developed in collaboration with the community, the mental health sector and the Department of Health. R U OK? is one of the Head to Health service provider partners, providing resources to assist friends and family when reaching out to someone they're worried about. Visit for more information.



By hello 19 Sep, 2017

The R U OK? Conversation Convoy aimed to inspire every Aussie, no matter their location, to invest more time in the people around them and give them the skills, motivation and confidence to start a conversation with anyone they may be worried about.

Here's what was achieved over our six week journey:

By hello 13 Sep, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull address:

AFTER   travelling 14,000 km and hosting 30 events across the country, R U OK?’s Conversation Convoy has pulled up at its final destination on the Esplanade in Cairns, in time for R U OK?Day, 14 September.


The conclusion of the Convoy is marked by a three-hour concert featuring some of the most talented ambassadors – including Ben Lee, Travis Collins, Louise Adams, Steven Oliver, Tullara Connors, Big T, James Van Cooper and former Skunkhour front man and brother of R U OK? founder, Aya Larkin.


The R U OK? Rocks Cairns concert brings artists and performers together to highlight the importance of mateship and connection. Los Angeles based Australian performer Ben Lee said, “I’m a big believer in the power of human beings connecting with each other. It’s a simple remedy to so many of life’s problems.”


The Conversation Convoy hit the road after research indicated that one in three Australians are still uncomfortable asking, ‘Are you ok,’ of those who are struggling with life.


With suicide rates over 2.5 times higher in many regional and remote areas of the country, the Convoy visited communities in the NT, the Kimberley in WA and across the Nullabor to towns as far inland as Bourke, NSW to promote the four steps to having a conversation; Ask, Listen, Encourage action  and   Check in.


According to The Centre for Regional and Remote Mental Health, people in major cities are twice as more likely to access a psychologist than their regional and remote counterparts.


CEO Brendan Maher said R U OK? wanted to show all Australians they have a set of resources at hand to check in with anyone they might be worried about.


“We already have assets available to us, those being our eyes, ears and mouths which are sometimes held hostage by fear and stigma,” he said.


“We are trying to create a world where those who are struggling receive the love, care and support they need from the people around them. We all have what it takes to ask someone if they’re ok and if they’re not, that’s where the four steps can help navigate a path to help-seeking.


“We know our 2017 Conversation Convoy has planted seeds in the communities we’ve visited and passed through. We hope it acts as a spring board to asking people if they’re ok 365 days a year, not just on our big day.”


For the fourth year in a row, Conversation Partner Virgin Mobile is offering their customers free standard calls within Oz today to check in with family and friends.


‘R U OK? Rocks Cairns’ on R U OK?Day

Where: Fogarty Park Sound Shell, The Esplanade, Cairns.

When: 7.30am to 11am



For support at any time of day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more info, visit


For interview, image requests or survey results, please contact:


Lizzy Thomas:  or 0400 922 919

Lisa Minner: or 0456 475 033


Tess McPherson: 02 9667 4211 or 0432 101 113

Simone Smith: 02 9667 4211 or 0422 046 342



Available for interviews:

  • Brendan Maher, R U OK? CEO
  • Katherine Newton, R U OK? Campaign Director
  • Rachel Clements, R U OK? Conversation Expert and Clinical Psychologist
  • Ben Lee, R U OK? Supporter
  • Steve “Commando” Willis, R U OK? Ambassador
  • Travis Collins, R U OK? Ambassador and performer
  • Louise Adams, R U OK? Ambassador and performer
  • Big T, R U OK? Ambassador and performer
  • Aya Larkin, R U OK? Board member and former Skunkhour lead singer
  • Tullara Connors, R U OK? Ambassador and performer
  • James Van Cooper, R U OK? Ambassador and performer


  Notes to Editors:


  • R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life
  • R U OK?Day is a national day of action, held on the Thursday 14 September, 2017
  • Every day is the day to start a conversation. Conversation tips and crisis numbers can be found at



The research was conducted on behalf of R U OK? by Colmar Brunton and via the Colmar Brunton and Your Source Omnibus, which interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,025 Australian adults (aged 18+). It excludes people who’ve participated in the previous three weeks and data is post weighted to ABS proportions. The margin of error associated with the results is +/- 3.0%.


*The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health:


Thank you to our sponsors: Liptember, Hungry Jacks, Flight Centre Foundation, Virgin Mobile and the Audi Foundation.

By hello 12 Sep, 2017

The Convoy was greeted by balmy ocean breezes and sunny skies in the tropical far north Queensland, town.

CEO Brendan Maher welcomed around 120 guests to the event that included activations based on embedding the four steps to starting a life changing conversation.

Ask, Listen, Encourage action and Check in.

Mental health service providers like Townsville Suicide Prevention Network, VVCS, Mates in Construction, Healthecare, Standby, and Rural and Remote Mental Health had stands at the event to highlight services available to anyone locally who might be going through a rough patch.

Other guests included Professor Gracelyn Smallwood, JCU Townsville Fire basketball team members, Invictus Games team member Davin Bretherton and the Army’s 1RAR band.

The local Townsville Northern Suburb Lions Club kept the masses fed and watered with a BBQ.

Maher spoke about the importance of checking in with friends and loved ones, especially in towns where services were sometimes difficult to access. He said the R U OK? team wanted to show all Australians they have a set of resources at hand to check in with anyone they might be worried about.

“We already have assets available to us, those being our eyes, ears and mouths which are sometimes held hostage by fear and stigma,” he said.

The event was officially opened by Councillor Les Walker and Mayor Jenny Hill welcomed the Convoy to Townsville.

Cr Hill reiterated the importance of the Townsville community asking the question of anyone they might be worried about to reduce the rising rates of suicide in Townsville and across Australia.

Maher then conducted a Q&A with R U OK? Ambassadors ‘Commando’ Steve Willis and former local comedian and actor, Steven Oliver.

The Convo Convoy will hit the road to Cairns tomorrow for their final event which will culminate in a R U OK? Rocks Cairns concert at Soundshell on the Esplanade in Cairns on R U OK?Day, Thursday September 14.

The event will kick off at 7.30am and conclude around 11am.

For support at any time of day or night, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Lisa Minner:  or 0456 475 033

By hello 12 Sep, 2017

NITV and R U OK? join forces in media partnership to encourage more life changing conversations


R U OK?   and   NITV   have joined forces as media partners by signing an MOU to encourage more life changing conversations in communities across Australia.


NITV   will join a small group of media partners who are dedicated to using their platform to make meaningful change through storytelling and news content.


NITV   and   R U OK?   have taken the next step in formalising a commitment to working more closely together to better inform Indigenous Australians around ways to support each other through tough times.


R U OK?   CEO Brendan Maher said, “With suicide rates up to five times higher in Indigenous populations across the country we have to get better at building people’s confidence and sharing a conversation roadmap so everyone knows where to start if they’re worried about a mate or a family member.


“Story telling is a big part of how   R U OK?   gets the message out and   NITV   reaches more Indigenous Australians than any other media outlet, so it seems like a natural fit”, Maher said.


NITV ’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, “As a trusted source of information,   NITV   is proud to provide further opportunity for the important messaging and engagement of   R U OK?   with Indigenous Australians.


“We want to ensure our community is equipped with the knowledge of who they can call when the going gets tough for themselves or someone they know.”


R U OK?   has engaged a number of Indigenous ambassadors and role models like Steven Oliver, Jake Gablonski and Riverbank Frank Doolan to help further spread the message that asking “are you okay?” and checking in with someone who might be struggling, can change lives and sometimes save them.


On   R U OK?   Day, Thursday 14 September,   NITV   will shine a light on the work and messages of   R U OK?,   with the   Marngrook Footy Show   at 7.30pm featuring special guest Courtney Dempsey – the   Essendon Bombers player who has opened up about the depression he has suffered since being delisted by the AFL club at the end of last season.   At 9pm,   R U OK?   ambassador Jake Gablonski will be a guest on   NITV ’s news and current affairs discussion program   The Point .


NITV   looks forward to working closely with   R U OK?   to help empower and reach Australians through exemplary storytelling and content.


R U OK?   media partners assist the suicide prevention charity in providing and promoting content to encourage regular and meaningful conversations.


For more information on the Conversation Convoy’s route and event locations please contact:

Media manager Lisa Minner

Ph: 0421623387 or 0456475033

Nicole Warwick:   or 0412 934 643

Lizzy Thomas:   or 0400 922 919


For information on NITV:

Viktoria Balanzategui | +61 429 625 967 |


Notes to Editors:



•         R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life

•         R U OK? Day is a national day of action, held on the Thursday 14 September, 2017

•         Every day is the day to start a conversation. Conversation tips and crisis numbers can be found at



Home of Indigenous storytelling, with TV programs that inspire, instill pride and lead to a greater respect of Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal culture.

By hello 11 Sep, 2017

A bright yellow XPT adorned with ‘R U OK?’ messages, will depart from Sydney’s Central Station on R U OK?Day , Thursday 14 September. The Sydney to Dubbo XPT in special livery will encourage commuters to check in with one another and ask the question “are you ok?”

The R U OK? train has been brought to life courtesy of NSW TrainLink, in partnership with the TrackSAFE Foundation, Sydney Trains and suicide prevention charity, R U OK?

According to TrackSAFE’s Executive Director, Naomi Frauenfelder, the conversation train is an ideal mechanism for promoting the initiative to both the community and the rail industry.

“We’re excited for a transportable ‘R U OK? message’ to move across the states and through our regional towns by rail; the wrapped XPT acts as a moving billboard helping to get the ‘R U OK?’ message into the community reminding us all to have regular and meaningful conversations with others. Not only this, the ‘conversation train’ acts as a reminder to rail staff to reach out to a co-worker who might need some extra support. The rail industry celebrates its own, industry specific R U OK?Day in April each year, so this conversation train helps keep the message alive all year round,” said Ms Frauenfelder.

The journey to Dubbo and back to Sydney will take just over six hours each way allowing ample time for people to turn to the person next them and ask if they’re doing ok. After departing Central, the train will travel across western Sydney in peak hour before making stops along the way at towns such as Bathurst, Orange and Wellington.

R U OK CEO Brendan Maher said, “We are thrilled to have the support of NSWTrainLink on our biggest day of the year,

“What a great show of support to help take our messaging – along with R U OK Ambassador and former Dubbo NRL player Daniel Conn – out to regional townships where we’ve been rolling out the four steps to a conversation, the last six weeks as part of our Conversation Convoy,” Mr Maher said.

NSW TrainLink Chief Operating Officer Pete Allaway said they are pleased to be a part of the initiative, “NSW TrainLink is proud to be able to take this important message to communities and encourage people to ask family, friends and colleagues R U OK?,

“In an industry where staff sometimes witness tragic incidents, we know the importance of looking out for the people around us who might be struggling and taking the opportunity to have meaningful conversations.

“As well as today’s trips between Sydney and Dubbo, the special bright yellow locomotive will continue to take the RUOK? message around south-eastern Australia as it operates across our New South Wales network and to Brisbane and Melbourne,” Mr Allaway said.


Media event:

A number of community members, commuters, rail staff and R U OK Ambassadors will gather at Platform 6 at Central Station for a media event, in time for the XPT’s send off at 7.18am .

Where: Platform 6, Central Station, Sydney, (Sydney to Dubbo XPT).

When: Thursday 14 September, R U OK?Day

Time : 7.00am media launch on the platform XPT departs at 7.18am

Who: Daniel Conn former NRL player and R U OK? Ambassador, Pete Allaway Chief Operating Officer NSW TrainLink, Howard Collins Chief Executive Sydney Trains, Naomi Frauenfelder Executive Director TrackSAFE Foundation.

Notes to Editor:

TrackSAFE Foundation

The TrackSAFE Foundation was established by the Australian rail industry to reduce near collisions, injuries and fatalities on the rail network resulting from suicide and reckless behaviour. By doing so, TrackSAFE aims to create a better workplace for rail employees.  

R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life. R U OK? Day is a national day of action, held on the second Thursday of September each year. September 14, 2017. But every day is the day to start a conversation. Conversation tips and crisis numbers can be found at

NSW TrainLink

NSW TrainLink provides intercity, regional and interstate rail and coach services, connecting customers across New South Wales, into southern Queensland to Brisbane, as well as through northern Victoria to Melbourne. nsw



Media Contacts

R U OK? | Lisa Minner

0421 623 387 |                  


NSWTrainLink | Peter Leate

0428 519 924 |


TrackSAFE | Sara Ross

0 402 419 962 | E  

By hello 10 Sep, 2017

Survey findings released on World Suicide Prevention Day today indicate that Australians have mixed attitudes and behaviours towards people who die by suicide and an inaccurate understanding about suicide and its prevention.

This nationally representative survey was conducted by Colmar Brunton in August 2017 and included two sets of questions relating to suicide prevention. Survey respondents were asked to complete the Literacy of Suicide Scale (LOSS) and a short form Stigma of Suicide Scale (SOSS), both of which have been validated through a range of suicide prevention research, programs and trials.

Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray said of the findings: “Evidence tells us that stigmatising attitudes result in people being less likely to get help or give help. If we don’t speak up about persistent stigma, we are at risk of perpetuating a society where we remain reluctant to reach out for help for ourselves or others.”

This year’s WSPD theme ‘Take a minute, change a life’ highlights the importance of speaking up, taking the time, and listening.

“It is reassuring to learn through this survey that more than 70% of Australians think that people who are suicidal should tell others about it. It shows we are willing to help others. We are willing to listen.”

“I am also encouraged by the finding that increased knowledge about suicidal behaviours and how to manage them seems to correlate with a lower level of stigma. This tells me that as well as reflecting on our personal attitudes and behaviours, we must continue efforts to improve every Australian’s understanding of suicide and its prevention.”

“We must work to debunk the myths surrounding suicide and change the way we think and communicate about its prevention. These are big changes, but changes that need to begin with the individual, the family, and the community. This is how we can change a life. This is how we can improve all our lives”.

By hello 08 Sep, 2017

The Convoy has travelled from Uluru in the Northern Territory across Australia covering a whopping 12000km to reach communities who might be doing it tough and embed the 4 steps to a life changing conversation.


CEO Brendan Maher mingled with the locals who participated in a series of events aimed at helping people learn each of the four steps.


Local MP – Federal Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans spoke with partcipants and showed his support for the suicide prevention charity reiterating how important it was to keep having meaningful conversations, not just one day a year, but every day of the year.


The QLD premier was an apology but was represented by Queensland Labour Minister Grace Grace.


The Convoy’s next event will be at Bundaberg on Sunday, 10 at 4.30pm at Alexandra Park West.


For interview, image requests or survey results, please contact:

Nicole Warwick: or 0404 219 966

Lizzy Thomas: or 0400 922 919

Lisa Minner:

By hello 06 Sep, 2017
Have you noticed a colleague's here but not really here?

Perhaps they seem distracted or like they've got a lot on their mind?

If your gut instinct is telling you something’s not quite right, don't be afraid to approach them and start a conversation. Your support can make a big difference.
By hello 05 Sep, 2017

In support of R U OK? and promoted by outback radio 2WEB, a signed guitar was raffled off at the end of the night in what can only be described as a phenomenal concert by the iconic performer.

$1000 was raised and will be donated to a local Bourke charity to support ongoing mental health support in the township.

Tuesday morning the R U OK? crew set up the Convoy in the historic Wharf area and hosted an event attended by over 100 people, including, police, paramedics, students from Bourke Public School, Bourke High School and a BBQ supported by Birrang and Bourke Council.

 A moving welcome to country by Uncle Phil Sullivan set the tone for an event were people spoke about the need for genuine connection and heartfelt conversations.

Riverbank Frank (Doolan) wrote and read a poem about the R U OK? theme and the need for people both black and white, to stand side by side as brothers – especially during life’s struggles.

Kevin Humphries MP also reiterated the need for people in regional and remote townships to keep taking and checking in with each other.

R U OK? CEO Brendan Maher hosted Q&As with ambassador and former NRL player Daniel Conn and R U OK? supporter John Schumann.

 Mayor of Bourke Barry Hollman welcomed the Convoy and shared an emotional story around the loss of his wife. He said it is an important thing for the community to check in and support one another during tough times and invited the suicide prevention charity back to the city next year.

The Convoy’s next event will be in Tamworth for a health play at the Tamworth Diggers Club, Wednesday September 6 at 7pm.

For more information on the Conversation Convoy’s route and event locations please contact:

Media manager Lisa Minner:  

Nicole Warwick:  or 0412 934 643

Lizzy Thomas:  or 0400 922 919


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