It's with great sadness that we advise the 2021 Bendigo Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk planned for March has been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns.
The walk has become an annual event on the Bendigo calendar each March with hundreds of people turning out to the Dai Gum San precinct to support each other, listen to guest speakers and take part in the traditional butterfly remembrance ceremony.
But with the continued uncertainty and ever-changing landscape around Coronavirus cancelling the walk was the only option for 2021.
Community welfare must come first.
We haven't made this decision lightly but feel it's in the best interests of the hundreds of people who attend the walk that we cancel the event for this year.
It's so disappointing given we didn't hold the walk last year either but rest assured we remain positive the walk will return in 2022 and look forward to using the event as a major part of our ongoing work in raising awareness around suicide prevention.
We will now look at other ways of raising suicide prevention awareness for 2021.
This work continues to hold great importance to the community as sadly we still see people taking their own lives.
This is a community issue and we must all work together to find a solution.
Change must start with education and awareness so the SPAN group will continue our work and look for other ways to keep getting important messages out into the community around mental health, wellbeing and asking for help when needed.
We truly appreciate your support and that of the community and look forward to that continuing in the years ahead.

Suicide prevention is the focus of a new #ListenNow video series from Tobin Brothers Funerals.

The series features a series of 'ambassadors' speaking from lived experience with suicide.

It's designed to start conversations around suicide prevention and get people asking for help.

The series is hosted by writer and broadcaster Justin Smith.

We will update this link each day with the new video:    

Part 1: Tobin Brothers Funerals managing director James MacLeod talks about the need for suicide prevention: Watch video 

Part 2: Farmer Joe Maggetto shares openly and honestly his struggles: Watch video

Part 3: Journalist Seb Costello talks about his experiences and the need to share: Watch video

Part 4: Our SPAN Central Victoria founder Alannah McGregor tells her family's story: Watch video

Part 5: Jon and Sue Stebbins from Compassionate Friends share their experiences as parents who lost their son to suicide: Watch video

Part 6: Former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Graham Ashton AM shares thoughts on how suicide impacts on the force: Watch video

Part 7: Ambulance Victoria CEO Associate Professor Tony Walker talks of his experiences and need for emergency workers to look after their own mental health: Watch video

Part 8: One of Australia's highest profile psychologists Dr Michael Carr-Greg expresses his concerns about the 'perfect storm' for mental health problems: Watch video

Part 9: Dr Jodie Leditschke from The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine manages Forensic Technical Services and Coronial Admissions and shares her experiences as one of the final points of contact for someone who has taken their own life and for the families who are dealing with great loss. This edition also features train driver Stephen King: Watch video

Part 10 (Final): Tobin Brothers Funerals managing director James MacLeod, broadcaster Justin Smith, The Salvation Army's Major Brendan Nottle and psychologist Jacqui Louder reflect on the #ListenNow series and share their views on ways we can look after our mental health and others. Watch video

Well done to Tobin Brothers Funerals for taking such a proactive approach to suicide prevention and all those who have given their time to make the series.

To learn more about the #ListenNow series click here



It's with sadness but a true sense of responsibility to all that we announce the Suicide Prevention And Awareness Walk planned for March 22 must be postponed due to the rapidly escalating Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will keep you up to date when we decide on a new date once this threat has gone away.




The Bendigo Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk will be held on Sunday, March 22, in 2020.

Please save the date in your calendar.

 I #toughtimespass


Hi everyone,

It's with sadness but a true sense of responsibility to all that we announce the Suicide Prevention And Awareness Walk planned for March 22 must be postponed due to the rapidly escalating Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but given this situation is changing by the hour the SPAN committee had to make a decision in the interests of you and our volunteers.

Here's some key points we considered:

• At this time the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services guidelines don’t preclude outdoor gatherings such as the SPAN Walk, however people who are unwell should not attend such events and universal hygiene precautions need to be practised in order to minimise the spread of the virus.

• The SPAN Walk is an outdoor event and therefore the risk of close contact to infected persons is relatively low, however, no situations are entirely risk free – the nature of the SPAN event is that it is an emotional environment and therefore close contact with people hugging, kissing or shaking hands is a reality.

• A key consideration is the ‘duty of care’ that SPAN has to its members, volunteers, guest speakers, students and participants – we haven’t had time to consult with everyone however enough questions have already been raised about how some may feel given the daily developments and perceived risk of this event.

• The Coranavirus story in the media is escalating by the hour and this is already resulting in either cancellations or limitations on various gatherings (both indoor and outdoor) which adds to the uncertainty in the community.

• The cycle group who are intending to participate in this year’s event have also raised the question about whether the event should proceed.

• The reality is that the public’s perception of these events is already impacted for various reasons and therefore it is highly likely that numbers will be down this year.

Given these factors and our duty of care to all we have decided to postpone not cancel the walk and will keep everyone informed about any new date once we all get over this health crisis wreaking havoc around the world.

We thank you for your ongoing support and apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

Thank you all.

Remember, as our motto says ... #toughtimespass

Any organisation is only as strong as those who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Well this is our team.

We're thrilled Rod Flavell has returned for another year in the president's chair with Alannah McGregor as vice-president.

Dionne Lynch is our valued secretary and we say a huge welcome to our new treasurer Cheyenne Cadence who comes with a wonderful recommendation from Headspace Bendigo.

We can't thank you all enough for your dedication and support for SPAN Central Victoria and all that we are trying to achieve.

Thank you to all the other groups who provide volunteer support to the SPAN committee including Catherine McAuley CollegeBendigo Community Health Servicesheadspace Bendigo, The Gianna Centre, City of Greater Bendigo, Grief Work Uniting and Bendigo Health.

Our work is only as good as the people who provide the support to make things happen so thank you.

We appreciate every second you give us.

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