Tackling Suicide in Derby
Friday, September 11th saw the resurrection of the Suicide Awareness Exhibition Football Match held in Derby in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day. This is an important event for the town by continuing to bring awareness to the fact that 3 years ago Mowanjum Community, which is located 10 kilometres east of Derby Township, experienced one of Australia’s highest rates of adult and adolescent suicides. In 2013 members from stakeholder community groups and support agencies gathered together to discuss actions they could take that would help to assist in the prevention of suicide. The decision was made to tie their message into football considering that the highest rate of suicide was amongst young Indigenous males.
The Exhibition Match was designed as an opportunity to show all community members, especially the young men of Mowanjum Community, that they need to stand up and recognise the signs and emotions associated with suicide and to talk about how to tackle these issues in their own lives and with their loved ones. Since the inception of the match Mowanjum men have taken ownership of the program by being the leaders who educate the next generation of the community about the risks of suicide and the heartache it brings with it. Since providing a forum that allows people to discuss a difficult subject there has been a dramatic drop in the suicide rate in Mowanjum Community and surrounding areas.
The 2015 Exhibition Match featured the Mowanjum Hawks against the Yurmulun Suns. In the first half of the game the score remained close as both sides were warming up their skills. While in the second half the Hawks started to flap their wings and fly as they kicked goal after goal. With Ezra Rastus dominating up forward kicking five goals, Mowanjum 11.10 (76) comfortably defeated the Suns 2.0 (12). Garnduwa, in conjunction with Anglicare, coordinated the 2015 Exhibition Match and it created a great community feel in Derby. Mowanjum and Yurmulun will again face each other when the White Ribbon Day Exhibition Match comes in November.
Best on Ground:
Mowanjum Hawks – Wade Wungundin, Bobby Gallagher, Ezra Rastus
Yurmulun Suns – Richard Cox Jr, James ‘Shorty’ Charles, John Divilli