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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3061 ..

many insights into the needs and requirements of my local community by keeping in touch.

I also had the chance to do some volunteering work, in particular with Roundabout Canberra. After meeting with CEO Jeanette Dyer, I was able to assist them with sorting out cleaning and sorting through a package of donated clothing. Roundabout Canberra do an enormous amount of work helping to provide clothes and other goods, such as car seats and prams, to families and expectant parents. I am immensely proud that the Roundabout operation is based in Ginninderra, and I look forward to visiting their operation in Holt once lockdown is over.

While I have been able to go on walks around my local suburb, mostly to the local Evatt shops, I cannot wait to get back out more broadly in the community, meeting with the local community groups about planning issues, environmental issues and community organisation activities. Changing to a new MO has been a challenge for me, but I still consider myself to be in the fortunate position of being able to contribute in some way, even while working from home. I encourage any business or individuals in Ginninderra to continue to reach out to me as we start to enter the COVID recovery period.

National Mental Health Month

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.24): Today I rise in celebration of Mental Health Month. National Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Foundation Australia, who advocate for and raise awareness of Australians’ mental health. It is an important time, when the Australian community comes together to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all.

This is a particular passion of mine because I have depression. I am one of those one in seven Australians who have experienced depression in their lifetime. The importance of physical activity, interpersonal engagement and getting outdoors to maintain good mental health is well known to me.

That is why I want to bring to the attention of all the National Walk for Mental Health on 17 October. This is a perfect opportunity to come together to raise awareness of such an important cause. I will be at Yerrabi Pond on Sunday with the Mental Health Foundation Australia, and I would love to have as many people as possible join us—chatting, enjoying being outside, out of lockdown, and taking in the sights of Yerrabi Pond.

Such events raise much-needed awareness of mental health and help to break down the considerable stigma that surrounds it. It does this in a positive and all-inclusive way. This year it is more necessary than ever before to help Australians to think about their mental health, considering the impacts of COVID-19, and to help rebuild the lives of Australians that have been greatly affected during this pandemic.

For my colleagues who thought I had gone for an entire sitting week without once mentioning Yerrabi Pond, I am happy to say that that is just not possible.

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