Jamestown Apex Club’s outstanding contribution to the local community, particularly its work in promoting rural mental health, has been recognised, with the club receiving a national Citizenship Initiative Award.
The award was presented at a recent 2020/2021 Apex Australia National Convention and annual general meeting in Wallaroo.
The work by Jamestown Apex Club’s 18 members at the Caltowie Chilled Out ‘n’ Fired Up Festival 2021 was highlighted, and club president Ben Lehmann said they were thrilled.
“It’s normally a selfless volunteer mindset, we certainly don’t do it for the accolades, but we were encouraged to enter the awards,” he said.
“Everyone was gob smacked and stoked to win because I don’t think we’ve ever been in the running or won a national award, but it really highlights the difference we are making and that we’re on the right track.”
The flow-on benefits of the Out ‘n’ Fired Up Festival continue to be felt by the local community.
Mr Lehmann said funds raised at the festival had assisted in supporting the Secret Men’s Business group for local men of all ages to reconnect and socialise, as well as the Resilience Project at Jamestown Community School, Growing with Gratitude at Gladstone High School, and in presenting Mary O’Brien and her Are you Bogged, Mate? session in Jamestown.
“This all started to try and create awareness first for men’s mental health and then more generally for rural mental health,” Mr Lehmann said.
“It’s grown from there, especially in the last couple of years given the times we’re living in.
“We really wanted to make sure that the money we raised was going to local projects to address mental health for our community and hopefully further afield.
“We’re really pleased to receive the award. I think what we are doing really embodies what Apex is all about, and that is being part of the community and building it up.”
Mr Lehmann said Apex was open to both men and women, and in Jamestown the group meets twice a month – on the second and fourth Wednesday– for informal dinner meetings.
All are welcome and can contact Mr Lehmann on 0419 855 445 or take a look at the Jamestown Apex Facebook page for more information.
Gabrielle Hall – Courtesy Plains Producer