Goolgowi's Marie Clarke is Woman of the Year
NSW state Murray MP Helen Dalton recognised Goolgowi resident Marie Clarke’s extraordinary work to improve mental health services in her region at an award ceremony on Tuesday.
“Like many country towns, Goolgowi has a high rate of suicide,” Mrs Dalton said
“Marie Clarke has done incredible work in turning things around for her community,”
“She organised a shire-wide community meeting to canvass ideas; initiated a petition to bring mental health services to Murrumbidgee hospitals; made some important steps to get a counsellor into the town and hosted Manly rugby league star Joel Thompson to give a talk about mental health,”
“For this reason, I chose her as my Local Woman of the Year for the Murray electorate,”
“The next big thing Marie’s organising is a Full Monty-style show in October,”
“That was probably the easiest thing to organise, it wasn’t hard to convince certain blokes to do a striptease.”
Ms Clarke informed Mrs Dalton she has secured the old Carrathool Council building to host a counsellor.
“We are hoping get a counsellor in Goolgowi at least a few days a week, so people don’t have to travel hours for mental health support,” Ms Clarke said
“Any help to get this initiative off the ground would be most welcome.”
In March 2020, Goolgowi rugby league star Billy Hale took his own life at the age of just 21. Four months later, his mother Donna did the same.
Mrs Dalton said it was vital for the government to fund better mental health services in the region.
“If you’re suicidal, you’re not going to travel three hours for counselling,” Mrs Dalton said
“At the very least, we need proper mental health services in our hospitals”.
“We have amongst the highest suicide rate in Australia, but not one hospital in the Murray region as an inpatient mental health facility.”
Marie’s petition to get mental health units in our hospitals can be downloaded at HERE. She asks if local businesses can print out copies for people to sign.
“If 10,000 people sign, I can take the petition to NSW Parliament to be debated,” Mrs Dalton
“The NSW Government won’t be able to sweep this issue under the carpet anymore.”