Ararat community embarks on resilience journey

PHOTO: Close to 500 people attended at presentation by The Resilience Project at the Ararat Town Hall on Monday night.

Almost 500 people attended The Resilience Project’s community presentation at the Ararat Town Hall last Monday evening.

Hosted by Resilient Ararat, the free mental health and wellbeing event sold out in a matter of weeks.

Ararat College Acting Principal and Resilient Ararat member, Ellie McDougall, said the group was rapt with the turnout.

“This is something that a group of our local schools have been trying to bring to Ararat for a long time,” she said.

“To see such a wide cross-section of the community come out and support it was absolutely fantastic.

“We’ve had lots of positive feedback from the night and people seemed to really embrace The Resilience Project’s messages around gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.”

The Resilience Project’s Martin Heppell gave a high-energy presentation that focused on the small things people can do to improve their overall happiness.

The community session was followed by presentations to participating primary and secondary schools. Teachers and representatives from local businesses, sporting clubs and community groups also took part in a session.

Central Grampians LLEN Project Officer Jane Moriarty said Resilient Ararat would build on these principles in the next three years to help improve the mental health of people living in Ararat and surrounding communities.

“The plan is to organise a range of different events, activities and training to ensure we continue to practice the strategies we learnt from The Resilience Project,” she said.

“Our founding schools will be incorporating The Resilience Project’s principles into their curriculums, but we want the messages of kindness, empathy and gratitude to extend to the wider community.

“If we can get everyone, from primary school children to sporting coaches and business leaders, speaking the same language around resilience then we are going to have a much happier and more successful community.”

Ms Moriarty said anyone with ideas around the types of events they would like to see implemented by Resilient Ararat should email resilience@cgllen.org.au. Those who attended Monday night’s community presentation are encouraged to provide their feedback by completing a short survey online here.