Today is R U OK?Day, but do you what to say is someone says they are not OK?

It has been a year that many people won’t forget and it is more important than ever to ask the question R U OK, but also be ready to have a conversation.

“We need to be genuine when we ask R U OK?, to let people know we’re there to listen, that we won’t judge them and that people can find pathways to support and recovery when they’re struggling,” R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said.

“We’re encouraging everyone to learn that there’s more to say after R U OK? because a conversation really can change a life. “We’re calling on Australians who are well and able, to check in with someone, reach out and meaningfully ask are you OK? not just today but every day.

“This is about caring for someone in your world. It’s about looking out for your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbours.” In Australia in 2018 3,046 people died by suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 in Australia and for each life lost the impact is felt by up to 135 others including family members, work colleagues, friends and emergency services workers. Research released by R U OK? show that among those people aware of R U OK? most feel confident they know how to have a conversation with someone who might be struggling with life. However, 31 per cent lack confidence or are unsure they know how to have a conversation with someone who says they are not OK. “We understand that sometimes people might feel a little uncomfortable or awkward if someone says they’re not okay,” said Ms Newton. “But you don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going.” R U OK? wants people to become familiar with what to say after hearing “No, I’m not OK” so they can show genuine intent and help someone access appropriate support long before they’re in crisis. Learn what to say next at www.ruok.org.au



Job seekers in south-west Sydney will benefit from a local jobs taskforce established to connect job seekers to local employment opportunities.

The Morrison government is investing $62.8 million in a Local Jobs Program to support the nation’s recovery and get more Australians back into work.

Federal MP for Hume Angus Taylor welcomed the announcement for Camden and Wollondilly job seekers with an employment facilitator engaged to connect job seekers with training, job opportunities or other support.

“The local knowledge of the Taskforce will play a critical role in connecting job seekers with local employment,” Mr Taylor said.

“Industry and small business rely on the local community to support them.

“We want to skill people as best we can to meet the needs of local employers and help them get back into the workforce sooner.”

The Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce for the south-west Sydney region will be chaired by an employment facilitator, selected by a tender process. Taskforces will be comprised of up to 10 members with representation from local stakeholders, higher education and training providers, employment service providers and local and state governments.

The Local Jobs Program will run until June 30, 2022. For details, visit www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program.





Federal Labor MP for Macarthur, Michael Freelander has been given the role as one of the House of Representative’s Assistant Deputy Speakers.

“In this role, I will assist the Speaker of the House of Representatives (and his deputies), taking the chair from time to time and presiding over the deliberations of the House,” Mr Freelander said.

“The role of speaker is an integral component of our democracy.

“The speaker must uphold order in the parliament and ensure that parliamentary rules and protocols are adhered to by all.

“I consider it a great privilege to have been appointed to the parliament’s Speaker’s Panel, and thank my colleagues from both sides for entrusting this great responsibility to me.”

Mr Freelander will continue with electoral duties; he is also the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee into Health, Aged Care and Sport.