14/08/2020 - 15:42

Workers ride for mental health

14/08/2020 - 15:42


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Newcrest Mining employees are gearing up for a 2,250 kilometre bike ride for mental health, after raising $110,00 for charity in the inaugural event last year.

Workers ride for mental health
Ben O'Callaghan and his Newcrest Mining colleagues start their ride to raise money for mental health on Sunday.

Newcrest Mining employees are gearing up for a 2,250-kilometre bike ride for mental health, after raising $110,00 for charity in the inaugural event last year. 

The team of seven are raising money for mental health charities Beyond Blue and Blue Tree Project to remember their colleague Mick Van Duren, who took his life in 2018. 

The MVD Memorial Ride will start at Newcrest’s office on Sunday and finish at Telfer mine in the Pilbara a week later.

Ride organiser Ben O’Callaghan said Mr Van Duren was his first boss at Telfer and was a trusted and admired colleague.  

“I may have missed the boat on Mick but I’m not going to stop looking for ways to make his suicide a beacon of light for other people who are in a dark place,” he said.

Last year, the MVD Memorial Ride raised more than $110,000, and Mr O’Callaghan said he hoped to match or exceed this amount in 2020.

“Thanks to the amazing support of our sponsors and donors, and despite the impact of COVID-19, I’m confident we can still raise a significant amount of valuable funds for our chosen charities,” he said.

“We’ve set up two online fundraising pages and we’ll also be distributing information and donation boxes along the way as we ride through towns and communities.”

Blue Tree Project chief executive Kendall Whyte would be joining the riders as a member of the support crew.

“We were delighted to be asked to join the Newcrest team on this ride and honoured that they have chosen the Blue Tree Project as one of their charities,” Ms Whyte said.  

“I lost my brother to suicide, which was the genesis of our grassroots campaign with the mission to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling mental health concerns.”

Blue Tree Project has painted 524 dead trees around the world blue to help spark conversations about mental health. 

To support the ride, donations can be made at the Blue Tree Project GoFundMe page or the Beyond Blue Everyday Hero site

If you need someone to talk to, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue at 1300 22 46 36.


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