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Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Page: 11603


Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (13:48): On Monday I spent a most enjoyable morning at the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre in my electorate of Kooyong. Celebrating Mental Health Week, I joined the centre's chairperson, Prue Brown, manager, Robyn Kenrick and their wonderful staff and local community for morning tea.

It was an opportunity to hear about a recent publication by the Centre, Choices from the Heart: a collection of stories. This chronicles the stories of seven members of our local community who live with mental health issues. The pages come alive with their bravery and insights and the beauty of their personal lives. Each person has a different life story, and to be able to retell their journey helps educate us all about the challenges posed by mental illness, so pervasive in our community with around one in five Australians affected by some form of mental ill health each year. At the same time, the publication plays an important role in reminding the storytellers themselves of their valuable and indispensable contribution to their family, friends and broader community. It is a terrific publication, and its principal author, Anne Carson, deserves to be commended, as does the centre and the Kew East community bank branch of the Bendigo Bank for the support of the project.

The Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre is a significant contributor to the wellbeing of our local community, be it for the people who use the yoga, computer training, language lessons, childcare or the famous men's shed activities. With over 900 people using its services each week, its impact cannot be overstated, and I am very proud that its activities are at the heart of the Kooyong electorate.