Ceduna hopeful of securing foundation funding

GROUP: Back: Leanne Breede, Pia Richter, Ian Bergmann, Gary Ferguson, Paul Brown, Jocelyn Wighton, Hans von Ohle, Sandy Taylor, Trudi Riddle, Kate Simpson, Wayne Miller, Jacqueline Costanzo, Tammy Miller, Simone Miller, Kristen Stevens; front: Warren Miller and Euan Black. Picture: Supplied
GROUP: Back: Leanne Breede, Pia Richter, Ian Bergmann, Gary Ferguson, Paul Brown, Jocelyn Wighton, Hans von Ohle, Sandy Taylor, Trudi Riddle, Kate Simpson, Wayne Miller, Jacqueline Costanzo, Tammy Miller, Simone Miller, Kristen Stevens; front: Warren Miller and Euan Black. Picture: Supplied

Representatives of the Fay Fuller Foundation (FFF) visited Ceduna earlier this month as it continues the process of selecting towns for the foundation's 'Our Town' project funding.

The foundation has teamed with The Australian Centre of Social Innovation (TACSI) to work with regional towns to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Nine of the 20 Our Town funding applicants were shortlisted, including Ceduna, for visits from FFF and TACSI.

While in Ceduna they were shown around the town, as well as given a tour of Koonibba, and received an insight into the work in the region around mental health services.

A barbecue was hosted outside the Ceduna Memorial Hall to promote the visit and to gather feedback from the community relating to improving mental health and wellbeing within the district.

The visit allowed the local team to put forward its vision, strengths and support methods as part of its application.

Following the visits to all potential funding towns, six will find out later this month if they move forward for the mentoring and coaching program that will take place in 2020.

From this group, two final towns will be chosen for up to 10 years of funding support to further their initiatives.

The Ceduna application has been driven by Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service, with input from across the Ceduna Services Collaboration.

Pia Richter said a need was identified to help youngsters within the region.

She said improving mental health was an issue that had been heavily discussed at services group meetings.

"We will work together, with a focus on young people, in recognition of the need to support them to understand mental health as they are our future leaders," she said.

"They had a great tour of the region and could understand that we have great collaboration within the town.

"They saw a community trying to work together and one that is concerned about mental health services available."

Centacare's Leanne Breede said the visit gave FFF and TACSI representatives the opportunity to see what Ceduna did well as a region, as well as highlight what could be improved.

Ms Richter said representatives from the Ceduna District Council, community members, services providers and schools were present during the visit, which presented a united front.

Ceduna will find out on December 20 if it has been selected to move forward in the process.