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Past Award Winners

2014 Award Winners +

Child: Bharat Tripathi from Leeming

At age 12, Bharat has an impressive list of contributions he has made to his community.

He is a founding member of the Children’s Reference Group at the City of Cockburn. He has been involved in the design and planning of a vast array of community projects including helping to design a regional playground, running a stall at a School market and selecting books for the local library.

Bharat is also a keen sportsman and is a member of his local soccer and cricket clubs, he also attends a children’s spiritual group weekly. Bharat is just one example of how great life can be when you act-belong-commit and that you’re never too young to start.

Winner: Bronwyn Milkins of Rockingham

Bronwyn has an impressive list of Act-Belong-Commit endeavours. She manages to balance her PhD research with keeping fit and volunteering to help others.

She uses her lived experience of mental illness to deliver talks and educate members of the public about how they can build resilience. It was evident through her nomination that she is incredibly passionate about mental health. In addition Bronwyn practises yoga regularly and next year hopes to complete the Perth marathon.

Bronwyn absolutely personifies the Act-Belong-Commit way of life and we hope she inspires others to take action to improve their mental wellbeing.

Winner: Jessica Smith of Mount Lawley

Jessica is described as one of the most influential role models of her generation and has an impressive array of Act-Belong-Commit achievements. Her most significant contribution to the community comes from the advocacy work she has undertaken to raise awareness of the importance of positive body image.

Jessica channels her status as a paralympian to drive change in the way people view their bodies. She created a social media campaign called 'Join the Revolution' in which people are encouraged to post a proud photo of themselves with a positive body image message.

In addition, Jessica volunteers her time as an ambassador for Layne Beachley's Aim for the Stars Foundation which was set up to help empower young women achieve their dreams and goals.

Winner: Clyde Goddard of Subiaco

Clyde has an unwavering passion for his community, and goes above and beyond to make sure the City of Subiaco thrives. Clyde has been involved in countless community groups in the past thirty years; including the Shenton Park Senior Citizen's Association, the Shenton Park Returned & Services League and the Subiaco Football club.

Currently Clyde is the secretary, treasurer and a membership officer of the Returned & Services League committee. He is in charge of organising the ANZAC day celebrations annually and has volunteered for almost 30 years for the local 'Meals on Wheels'.

In the small amount of spare time he has, Clyde likes to do a crossword or two and pay a visit to his grandchildren.

Winner: Befriend

Befriend is a not for profit organisation based in Perth that exists to enrich lives through building social connections. It is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers who host around 250 social events in Perth per year. Befriend's work in bringing people together truly embodies the Act-Belong-Commit message, especially the belong part of the message.

Befriend was born after a group of Occupational Therapy students recognised that many people in the Perth community were socially isolated. The vision was to create opportunities for people to come together and meet each other in an inclusive environment, to get more people interacting in the community and promote a sense of belonging and overall wellbeing.

The volunteers who coordinate Befriend's weekly social events ensure that all members of the community and made to feel included and welcome at each event.

Winner: Shire of Cranbrook

The Shire of Cranbrook has a comprehensive calendar of events to get the Shire's 1200 residents involved in community activities including a Thank a Volunteer day event, an annual Agricultural show and Community Photography Competition and Exhibition. The Shire is committed to promoting the Act-Belong-Commit mental health message and getting residents involved community life.

In addition to encouraging Cranbrook residents to keep active and involved in the community, the Shire also offers training to community leaders to help them identify signs and symptoms of mental illness and learn how to refer people to appropriate services.

Winner: Butler Primary School

Butler Primary School implements the KidsMatter initiative and has a comprehensive approach to improve resiliency and well-being via a whole school approach; which includes students, teachers, families and the wider community.

Lunch time chess clubs, Peer Mediation and Buddy Programs, a Community Garden, Dance competitions, choirs, student vs. teacher sporting matches and whole schools picnics are just some of the activities that Butler offers to keep students physically, mentally, socially and spiritually active.

Winner: Lesmurdie Senior High School

Lesmurdie Senior High School has a wide variety of programs that educate students about mental health, enhance mental wellbeing and reduce stigma. The Act-Belong-Commit philosophy is built into health lessons and students are encouraged to get involved in the schools extra-curricular activities such as Breakfast Club, knitting, band club and various Fun Runs.

In addition, the school's annual health expo encourages students to explore the different aspects of mental health and gives students the opportunity to learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

And, impressively the students and staff are in the progress of developing a health promotion policy to address all aspects of health, including mental health.

2013 Award Winners +

Youth: Sarah Power, from South Perth

Sarah is a young Act-Belong-Commit champion. She is well-connected and heavily involved with community service organisations, including health promotion charity Fair Game WA and Curtin Volunteers.

The 22 year-old speech pathology honours student dedicates her energy and expertise to equip children living with paediatric language disorders with the skills to better engage in the world they live in. Impressively Sarah travelled to Africa earlier this year to Volunteer in Mozambique and St Lucia; providing education and professional development opportunities for staff in orphanages.

As well as being committed to her studies, Sarah still makes sure she has time to stay socially active and is regarded as a loyal friend.

Adult: Carol Young from Mullewa

Born and bred Mullewa woman Carol is described by her friends and neighbours as a respectful, kind and trustworthy person that is the 'best neighbour anyone could ask for'.

Carol's most significant contribution to the community stems from her volunteer role as canteen manager at the Mullewa Football Cub. Carol is at every home game; preparing, cooking and selling delicious healthy food.

Carol is also part of the Mullewa Relay For Life team and contributes to fundraising by baking and donating jewellery and giftware to be included in team raffles.

Some of Carol's other interests include music, walking, family, her dog and health.

Senior: John Warrington from Subiaco

John is an active, civic-minded member of the community who goes above and beyond to assist others. Not a day goes by when he isn't seen at his local Subiaco Community Centre volunteering to help serve lunch to seniors and people with disabilities.

Prior to this, John gave 10 years of service as a 'Meals on Wheels' driver – which gave him tremendous satisfaction knowing he was delivering nutritious meals and a friendly smile to people who were unable to leave their own home.

John never lets a day pass without putting a smile on someone's face, taking the time to hear people out and lend a helping hand.

John is also regularly involved with positive ageing events at the City of Subiaco and has been a parishioner at St Andrew's Anglican Church for 70 years.

Act-Belong-Commit Partner: Men's Resource Centre

For the third consecutive year the Men's Resource Centre in Albany is the winner of the Act-Belong-Commit partner Award.

The Centre is known for creating innovative strategies to extend health messages to the Albany community in a fun and engaging way. In the past 12 months, the Centre has delivered their Pit-stop Wellness Checks to 900+ men in local businesses, government organisations, schools, sporting clubs, prisons and remote regional towns to ensure men keep tabs on their blood pressure, weight and stress levels, alcohol consumption and food intake.

The Men's Resource Centre's Australia Day Fun Run and Family Walk is an annual event that encourages exercise and social activity, bringing the whole community together for a day of fun.

This year the Centre has initiated three new activities including a Regional Men's Talkfest, Blokes Survival Cooking Course and a Blokes Camera Club. These activities foster a sense of belonging, give the participants a sense of happiness and fun and overall strengthen community resilience.

The Centre leads the way for community-based mental health promotion in this state and is truly deserving of this Award.

Act-Belong-Commit Site: South West Women's Health and Information Centre

The South West Women's Head Centre is the 2013 Act-Belong-Commit Site Award winner.

The Centre embeds mental health messages into all their healthy lifestyle programs and delivers tangible and practical programs for women to improve their well-being.

In particular the Centre has created strong partnerships within the South West to facilitate and promote involvement in these activities. For the past two years the Centre has joined forces with the City of Bunbury to deliver a healthy lifestyle program known as 'Recharge' that teaches women in the South-West about healthy eating and exercising over an eight week period.

In addition the Centre hosts a weekly Mums and Bubs walking group and partners with the Bunbury Runners Club to organise the annual Bunbury Women's Fun Run to promote physical activity and social interaction.

They also have a regular presence at community events throughout the Southwest, continually reminding local people of the importance of keeping physically and mentally healthy.

Primary School: Mount Barker Community College

Mount Barker Community College in the Great Southern is the winner of the Primary School Category.

The School has implemented the KidsMatter Framework from kindergarten to year 6; fostering a positive learning environment for students addressing mental health and well-being.

Recognising that teachers play an important role in promoting health and wellbeing the school focuses on staff professional development so that they are able to identify risk factors in students and promote good mental health practices in the classroom.

The school has also embedded mental health literacy into the curriculum by using a number of evidence-based programs in the classroom.

Additionally the school has a Youth Empowerment Process (YEP) program that involves training a group of youth mentors who work with younger students, providing them with the opportunity to connect and engage in activities designed to promote positive mental health.

Secondary School: Esperance Senior High School

Esperance Senior High School in the Goldfields is the 2013 winner of the Secondary School Category.

The school adopted the MindMatters framework as part of a whole-school resilience policy. A Resilience Committee has been formed with the tasks of delivering a whole range of activities to build social-emotional wellbeing.

Accomplishments include a Girls Academy program that is designed to foster community engagement, resilience and positive mental health in at risk female students. . Participants attend the specially designed 'girls academy' classes during school-time and are assisted to connect with important organisations in the Esperance community such as the Esperance Volunteers and Escare.

In addition, the schools has piloted a Crossroads Wilderness Program this year. The program involves a 12 day hiking and camping trip for at-risk students. Participants complete reflective activities and connect with both Environment and Conservation workers and local Indigenous leaders

The School also offers a Positive Parenting Program to all parents in the Esperance community, regardless of whether they have a child enrolled in the school; this further demonstrates the schools commitment to the whole community.

2012 Award Winners +

Individual Youth Winner: Neve Guilfoile, from Northlake

Neve enjoys living an active life – physically, mentally and socially. She is an active member of the ‘peer pals’ program at her school, Corpus Christi College, which supports students with disabilities to develop their confidence and social skills – and encourages them to integrate into mainstream school activities.

Impressively, Neve was awarded a young Champion for the Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for her tireless efforts advocating for the scheme. This involved letterbox drops, packing materials for rallies and assisting her disabled brother to educate people about the NDIS at public events. Neve shows how great life can be when you Act-Belong-Commit and that you’re never too young to start.

Individual Adult Winner: Amer Khan, from Padbury

Amer’s small business, Sculpture Personal Training has the sole mission of enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of all who attend his classes. Amer goes above and beyond to create an inclusive environment for everyone, from disadvantaged and disabled people, to those suffering weight-loss challenges; to parents with young children and those who have suffered significant personal difficulties in life. He is committed to fundraising for charities and organises regular social events for everyone in the community.  Amer is passionate about the Act-Belong-Commit message and seizes every opportunity to extend the message to others. 

Individual Senior Winner: Les Dearden, from Bunbury

Les is a fantastic example of someone who epitomises the Act-Belong-Commit ethos and has a long list of contributions to the Bunbury community. Les teaches up to five Tai Chi classes per week at various centres in the area, either for free or for minimal pay.

In addition Les assists the staff at the Milligan Community Centre by helping out as their handyman and gardening guru. Les has made financial donations to the centre’s annual fundraising quiz nights, demonstrating his commitment to helping the centre thrive as a hub of the community.

Most impressively, Les is the coach and coordinator for the local ‘Big Issue Community Soccer Program’ supporting marginalised people to become more productive members of their community through soccer. Les goes above and beyond to ensure that team members get the most out of the program, including travelling with the team to Sydney for four days to compete in the National Championships last year. The program’s participants attest to the changes they have seen in their lives and the improvement in both their physical and mental well-being.

Act-Belong-Commit Partner Winner: Men’s Resource Centre, in Albany

The Men’s Resource Centre has a multi-faceted approach to promoting Act-Belong-Commit to the whole Albany community, ensuring the message is heard loud and clear.

The Centre hosts an annual ‘Australia Day Act-Belong-Commit Fun Run and Family Walk’ for the whole community. This event encourages participants to be mentally, physically and socially active and lifts the spirit of everyone involved.

The annual Belt It Out for Blokes concert is another of the Centre’s initiatives; encouraging men in the Great Southern region to spend time with others who share the same values, interests and hobbies. Participants have reported a great sense of belonging to the group and performing to their friends and family each year gives them a great sense of achievement and pride.

One of the main strategies that the Centre uses to promote good wellbeing is through their Pit Stop Wellness checks that they deliver to local businesses, government organisations, schools, sporting clubs and various other community groups throughout the year.

The Centre’s programs play a vital role in improving and maintaining the community’s wellbeing.

Act-Belong-Commit Site Winner: City of Rockingham

The City’s dedication to developing innovative community programs that get people thinking about their mental health and what they can do to stay mentally healthy is the key to their success.

The City has taken the extra step and committed to improve the mental health and community participation of their citizens by listing Act-Belong-Commit as a strategy within their Health and Wellbeing plan.

Rockingham was the first local government in Western Australia to become an Act-Belong-Commit community in 2008. Since then, over seven local governments have followed their lead.

In particular, Mentally Healthy WA applauds the city for its annual PhotoVoice competition and exhibition which encourages participants to take photos based on the mentally healthy theme.

Other initiatives include a Walking Group for parents, an Act-Belong-Commit Rockingham newsletter, placing print adverts in local papers, message promotion at Healthway sponsored events, merchandise give-aways to community groups, and sponsoring the local sports clubs uniforms.

The City of Rockingham utilises the Act-Belong-Commit message as a valuable mental health promotion tool for the whole community as well as assisting to support the campaign state-wide and nationally.

Primary School Winner: Cooinda Primary School, in Bunbury

The staff at Cooinda Primary School are committed to promoting positive mental health and well-being throughout the whole school community.

The school has established strong partnerships with community organisations including the local church as well as various service providers and agencies.

A ‘kids hope’ mentoring program has been established with the local church to assist students with their education, self-confidence and overall well-being.

In addition, every fortnight Cooinda Primary School hosts ‘KidsMatter Cuppas’  whereby parents and local community organisations and services are encouraged to interact, socialise and learn about local community issues. Each classroom has a parent ‘rep’ to connect the families in that class and increase the connectedness of the students and overall Cooinda Primary School Community.

In order to support the growing number of non-English speaking families, Cooinda Primary School has established a community connection group that brings greater recognition of different cultures into the school; activities include a Bollywood Dancing group and hosting community festivals.

Being part of the KidsMatter Framework has provided staff at Cooinda Primary School the ability to look closer at the mental health of students and take action to improve their well-being.

Secondary School Winner: Lockridge Senior High School, in Kiara

Since launching their partnership with Mentally Healthy WA two years ago, Lockridge Senior High School staff have organised a great range of activities to improve morale within the school and increase connectedness between staff, students and parents.

The school has a wellbeing committee that guides the implementation of the Act-Belong-Commit campaign within the school. One of the main initiatives includes teaching mental health resiliency within the classroom by delivering programs such as Shine (self-esteem), M Power (anti-bullying) and Drumbeat.

In addition, the school recognises ‘RU OK?’ day each year, which encourages students to ask their peers if they are ok.

Students have produced the ‘school clubs’ initiative which involves various lunchtime clubs that anyone can join, including a soccer club, a rubix cube club and a running club. Another innovation is the Music Rock program that allows disadvantaged students to make music with professional recording artists.

Lockridge Senior High School has some strong partnerships with external organisations such as Youth Focus, Youth Connections, City of Swan Youth Services and Generations Centre which aids the success of their mental health promoting activities.

The wide range of activities each term ensures positive mental health behaviours are instilled in the whole school community.

2011 Award Winners +

2011 Individual Youth Winner: Nick Maisey

team-nickNick Maisey from Ardross was the deserving winner of the 2011 Act-Belong-Commit Individual Youth Award. Nick acts, belongs and commits every day and thoroughly enjoys the mental health benefits he gets from staying involved in his community.

Nick is involved in a wide variety of activities and organisations, which he agrees helps to keep him mentally healthy. Some of his interests include reading, kayaking, indoor soccer, trivia nights with friends and going to the movies. He belongs to many different groups including the Rotary Club of Crawley, the Curtin Go-Global program and Befriend Inc.

Nick has made a notable contribution to the wider community by starting up Befriend Inc, a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce social isolation in the community and works towards a more socially inclusive society. Befriend organises monthly social events that welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to come and socialise in an inclusive environment. Since its inception in 2010, Befriend Inc. has grown to around 300 active members.

2011 Individual Adult Winner: Tanya Dupagne

tanyaThe winner of the 2011 Act-Belong-Commit Individual Adult Award was Tanya Dupagne from Wellard. Tanya has been involved in her community for a long time and has made valuable contributions to a number of groups and programs, most importantly the Koorliny Arts Centre Boys and Girls Club, a club that teaches basic life skills to local youth. She also organises the Live and Loud concert, an annual event that brings together all community groups in her area.

Tanya enjoys setting personal goals and challenges—and achieves them by continually training and up-skilling herself with the necessary expertise. Tanya's latest challenge is through her position as the General Manager of the Global Good Foundation, which works with individuals who have been affected by domestic violence.

Tanya's passion and dedication for building a stronger Kwinana community has brought numerous benefits to the region. All programs have instilled a sense of social responsibility, particularly among children and young people—and have created and strengthened links with other services and organisations in the area. One noticeable difference to the Kwinana community is increased community participation among children and young people. More children and young people are joining in community events and clubs and there is an increased level of family involvement within the town.

2011 Individual Senior Winner: Karen Ducat

karenKaren Ducat of Northam was the winner of the 2011 Act-Belong-Commit Individual Senior Award. Karen has immersed herself in a variety of activities and groups over the years. Her main passion includes taking care of the animals on her farm, something that keeps her physically active. She has also been a local rehabilitator and releaser of wildlife animals for the Department of Environment and Conservation for the past 23 years.

Karen belongs to the Northam Over 60s, a vibrant seniors' group she has led for the past 12 years and in 2010 she achieved her lifelong goal which was to organise a Historical, Agricultural and Environmental Festival. The festival was a huge success, and now attracts over 3000 people from around the state annually.

Karen is skilled at linking groups and organisations together to help and support mutual efforts. She has made a valuable contribution to the community through the numerous groups she is devoted to— and feels this is what living and belonging to a community is all about.

2011 Act-Belong-Commit Partner Winner: Men’s Resource Centre

MRCThe Men's Resource Centre (MRC) in Albany was the deserving winner of the 2011 Act-Belong-Commit Community Partner Award.

The Men's Resource Centre hosts singing concerts and workshops and offers free Health Check Pit Stops to local businesses, governments, schools, sporting clubs and prisons. The Australia Day Fun Run and Family Walk is a particularly successful community event that lifts the spirits of all participants.

The Centre is dedicated to promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message. This is evident through the effective way the message is communicated to a diverse audience at all events. All clients that attend the Men's Resource Centre are reminded why the Act-Belong-Commit guidelines are beneficial for good mental health and wellbeing. The message is also spread via radio and newspaper promotions, community announcements and signage and merchandise is displayed at all Men's Resource Centre events.

2011 Act-Belong-Commit Site Winner: City of Rockingham

CORThe City of Rockingham has excelled in the local implementation of Act-Belong-Commit, epitomising how a local government can play a part in promoting good mental health and creating resilient communities.

Specific strategies include a "What's on?" update to community members to advertise the many activities that are available to them in the Rockingham area, merchandise packs for community clubs and groups as an incentive to run mentally healthy activities, and the Annual PhotoVoice competition that encourages participants to take photos relating to the Act-Belong-Commit theme.

The City of Rockingham was the first local government site to adopt the positive mental health promotion campaign Act-Belong-Commit— and since then many other local councils have followed suit.

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