Shire partnership pays off with innovation award | Mindful Margaret River

Martin Ringer, Erin Statz, Jason Cleary, Stuart Hicks, James Shepherd, and Stacey Hutt.
Martin Ringer, Erin Statz, Jason Cleary, Stuart Hicks, James Shepherd, and Stacey Hutt.

The partnership between the Shire of Augusta Augusta Margaret River and Mindful Margaret River was last week recognised with an innovation award from the Local Government Professionals Association.

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Presented as part of the Association's Community Development Awards in Perth, the accolade acknowledged the collaborative efforts needed to address mental health in the region.

Mindful Margaret River's founding chair Stuart Hicks said he was please the efforts of the partnership were being recognised.

"It was clear from the get-go that the success of mental health initiatives would depend on the ability to construct a robust alliances between community volunteers, mental health practitioners and government agencies and other bodies," he said.

"There was no ready-made example for us to copy.

"We had to develop plans and resources, to create a flexible structure for collaboration on mental health issues at a local level.

"Throughout, the Shire has put in the hard yards with us."

Community Development Officers Jason Cleary and Kim Rosenfeld received the award on behalf of all involved.

Community Development Officers Jason Cleary and Kim Rosenfeld received the award on behalf of all involved.

Mr Hicks said the trust and judgement of Shire officers provided the support for the innovative model.

"The challenge for the Shire was to empower our fledgling group while never intervening in it.

"They have walked that tightrope with skill and we have worked together as a willing team."

Current Mindful Margaret River Chair Martin Ringer said the award was well-received with the Shire has proactively seeking to collaborate with Mindful Margaret River.

"The support that they offer is essential to the success of our organisation," Mr Ringer said.

Shire Corporate and Community Service Director James Shepherd congratulated all involved, noting while much work has been done, much more was needed.

"Mental wellbeing continues to be a matter that requires ongoing attention in our region" he said.

"We are forging much stronger ties with service providers and stakeholders and now want to focus efforts on creating a frontline difference to our community."

For more information on Mindful Margaret River visit www.mindfulmargaretriver.org.au and follow the Mindful Margaret River Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mindfulmargaretriver