- Parliament House welcomes Royal Show cattle, to be auctioned in support of mental health awareness
- Initiative has raised more than $50,000 for Black Dog Ride over six years
Parliament House will today welcome a taste of the Royal Show, when two cattle visit its steps for R U OK?Day and the Black Dog Ride.
State Government Ministers Roger Cook, Alannah MacTiernan and Mick Murray will welcome steer Winston, and heifer Clementine, to the House in the lead up to their auctioning at the 2017 Perth Royal Show to raise funds for mental health.
Dardanup cattle breeder Peter Milton has been raising donated stock to raise funds for the Black Dog Ride since 2011, when he feared a forecast poor harvest would raise the risk of self-harm and suicide in the regions.
Now in its seventh year, the initiative has raised more than $50,000 for the Black Dog Ride, with this year's cattle expected to fetch up to $15,000 at auction.
This year, Mr Milton has introduced a heifer to the initiative having previously only donated steers, and will manage an awareness campaign in country shopping centres, town squares, and other community hubs.
Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
"R U OK?Day is here to remind everyone to take a moment to ask friends, family and colleagues how they are going.
"Mental health is of particular concern in our farming communities as, nationwide, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, and in 2012, statistics showed that men living in remote areas had a 78 per cent higher risk than men living in major cities.
"That is why in Men's Health Week in June, I announced $310,000 for the Regional Men's Health Initiative to address issues of mental health and wellbeing, and suicide in men in regional and remote farming communities.
"I commend Mr Milton not only for the thousands he has raised over the years in support of the Black Dog Ride, but also the awareness he has raised encouraging people to talk about their mental health."
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Looking out for each other is more important than ever during challenging growing seasons in regional and rural areas, like the one we're currently facing.
"Well done to Mr Milton for tackling this issue head on."
Comments attributed to Volunteering Minister Mick Murray:
"Mr Milton has volunteered his time and effort over seven years now for this terrific initiative.
"I am proud it all started in my home patch in Collie-Preston, but even more proud that it has spread far and wide to raise mental health awareness throughout the regions."
Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
Volunteering Minister's office - 6552 6400