Wheel of Wellbeing Rolling Ahead

Wheel of Wellbeing Rolling Ahead

Our Wheel of Wellbeing Coordinator, Angie Horchner, is working hard to build up the Wheel of Wellbeing Hub in the Banana Shire.

The Wheel of Wellbeing is a framework, informed by international research and positive psychology, which can assist you to increase your capacity for happiness. By outlining simple and easy strategies that you can implement every day, the WoW framework is an excellent tool for helping us all to be happier, healthier and more mentally resilient. The Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) teaches simple techniques to promote wellbeing, using a positive psychology approach.  WoW has a holistic approach, focussing on body, mind, spirit, people, place and planet.  Facilitators are taught to adapt the techniques to suit their community – the people, the place and the resources they have available to them.

The Central Highlands Mental Health Wellbeing Hub, in partnership with CQRH, facilitated a number of successful workshops in Biloela last year. The Banana Shire Hub was established late last year and recruitment of new members is ongoing. The Wheel of Wellbeing Hub is not only centred around community workshops and interconnection, but on an ongoing community drive to educate people on how they can improve their own mental wellbeing. The approach includes: building on current capacity to bring together information on the assets already in the community that support mental health and wellbeing in the local area, and developing strategies to raise awareness of these supports; gathering information directly from the community about the current levels of wellbeing; identifying what more could be done to ensure long term good mental health and wellbeing; and effectively communicating this information to appropriate audiences.

A key part of this project is to develop capacity in individuals in the local community to actively participate in each of these elements.This means that we need volunteers who are passionate about their community. There is no formal agreement for volunteers in this project and they are able to facilitate community activities that make them happy when they have the time. We are also looking to partner with individuals and organisations that can provide resources. These resources can be something as simple as cut off bits of old ribbon. If you are interested in getting involved, please click here. No experience is necessary, just eagerness.

There are a number of workshops and community wellbeing activities being planned for the year. For more information on the ones currently being advertised, click here. Wheel of Wellbeing volunteers and facilitators are also happy to attend other community events and deliver wellbeing activities. If you would like more information about this, please email Angie at angie.horchner@cqrdgp.com.au.

Angie has been continuing her own professional development as a Wheel of Wellbeing facilitator by attending workshops in Brisbane. She also been liaising with other WoW facilitators, hubs and the mental health commission to share ideas and experience. She has also been networking with local organisations to share with them what would be the immense benefits to their organisation of a workforce and community which is happier and more resilient. If you think your organisation could benefit from this framework, or would like to partner in community wellbeing activities, please contact Angie via the email above.

Now the groundwork is almost complete, it is time to kick this project into gear and roll on forward!


Banana Shire residents keep CALM and learn suicide intervention skills

Banana Shire residents keep CALM and learn suicide intervention skills

Over the weekend, members of the Banana Shire community came together to learn how to have life saving conversations with someone who may be contemplating suicide.

It was a CALM one-day workshop delivered by CQRH’s Project Officer, Deirdre Fagan-Pagliano, and Jillian Mouzouris, who owns GrassRoots Living Room in Biloela. Both women generously volunteered their time to deliver the free training.

CALM stands for Connect, Ask, Listen and Monitor. It’s an evidence-based, easy to implement suicide intervention program developed in Australia. It outlines how to help a person find hope and empower them to change their thinking and plan for a future.

I attended the workshop and, though it was confronting at times, it was a powerful experience which has already helped me connect and listen to the people in my life. We were taught how to ask questions and really encourage someone in pain to talk about and share that pain, then how to empower them to grab hold of hope. I am now confident I can talk to someone who is considering ending their life and conduct a positive intervention. It is also clear to me just how important this training is. I firmly believe that this training will save lives and I encourage everyone to participate in something like this.

The workshop was also met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from the other participants.

“Great practical training that empowers people to have potentially life-saving conversations and myth busting the stigmas around suicide.” Fiona Hayward

“Practical application, clear guidelines!! Awesome training.” Mayuri Gosalina

Thanks to the funding CQRH received from the Queensland Government’s TRIAC Fund and the Banana Shire Council as well as donations from local businesses: First National Real Estate Biloela, Westpac Biloela and the Silo Motor Inn, fourteen local community members were trained to deliver this program to the Banana Shire. There are several workshops already being planned, you can find out more about them here. CQRH would also like to encourage workplaces, organisations, sporting groups or even social groups who would like to participate in this training to contact us.

Remember, preventing suicide is everyone’s business.

For help or information call Lifeline: 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, beyondblue: 1300 22 4636.

Bright Future for Rural Medicine

Bright Future for Rural Medicine

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the CQRH Scholarship for Rural Health: Jane Surman, Imogen Storey, Alexander Belonogoff, Jacob Firth, and Samuel Romagnolo.

The CQRH Scholarship for Rural Health began in 2016 and to date the organisation has invested over $30,000 toward undergraduate students that are studying a degree in a health related area. The selection panel were impressed by the calibre of the applicants this year and are confident that the future of rural health is in good hands. Applicants outlined their vision for rural health, their passion for their profession and articulated their career aspirations. In the case of all five of the successful applicants, their passion for rural and remote medicine shone through in their applications and gave the board a renewed sense of optimism.


Jane Surman

Jane Surman

Jane is in her third year of study for a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) at the University of Queensland. She is passionate about physiotherapy, and particularly passionate about working with the elderly.

“I have a particular passion for the elderly population who are often disregarded and their difficulties overlooked as a part of ageing. Of course there is a natural decline in the body with age, but with strength, balance and aerobic exercise their quality of life can be enhanced and prolonged well beyond the limits of ‘old age’. I cannot wait to be able to improve the quality of my patients’ lives and hopefully encourage them to live a long, active life.”

Jane’s ultimate dream is to open a specialty elderly clinic in Central Queensland.

“I would love to increase the confidence in my patients for them to be able to continue the activities they loved doing when they were a bit younger. I know with my own Grandma, she would never go to the town gym or pool through sheer fear and embarrassment. This is why I would them to have their own exercise areas that they feel safe and comfortable in to increase their treatment compliance and get them involved in their own rehabilitation.”

Congratulations Jane, we hope to see your dreams come true.


Imogen Storey

Imogen Storey

Imogen is in her fourth year of study for a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Queensland. She certainly got us thinking about exercise in a new light with her passionate description of how it can benefit patients.

“Exercise prescription can help those with chronic pain, clients awaiting or post surgery, cancer patients, people with mental illnesses, people with cardiac and metabolic conditions and the list goes on… Exercise is the new medicine. Exercise is for everyone.”

Imogen also plans on improving rural health services in Central Queensland by providing outreach services which include both community and home visits.

“When meeting in a communal space (eg. Town Hall or Park) and running a group class, I am able to reach a larger percentage of the community and create a social event to strengthen town spirit. Additionally, by initiating home visits, I would be able to not only keep clients accountable (other than routine check ups over the phone) but would also be able to depict how clients can fit exercise into their daily routine using resources in their own home.”

Well done Imogen, your passion for exercise is inspiring… and even a little motivating!


Alexander Belonogoff

Alexander Belonogoff

Alexander is studying a Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University and is currently in his third year. He has a strong vision for rural health services: a workforce not in shortage, and he is already working to make it a reality!

“This year I have been tasked with the role of Rural High School Visit Coordinator for [the James Cook University Rural Health Club] RHINO. My goals for my time in this position are to contribute to improving rural health workforce numbers by setting up a rural high school visit structure that will inspire High School Students to embark on a career in health and inspire university students to choose a career in rural health.”

Alexander spoke about his recent four-week placement in Moura before sharing his career goal of becoming a GP.

“I found the variety of presentations during my four-week placement astonishing, from heart attacks to dog bites, broken bones to emphysema and late-night brawls to pregnancy emergencies just to name a few examples. My career goal is to practice in a similar setting to Moura as this is the medicine that excites me, the medicine that I grew up with and the medicine attracted me to the profession in the first place.”

Alexander also shared his plans to complete further training in either obstetrics and gynaecology or sports and exercise medicine.

Excellent work Alexander, you were an impressive applicant and we look forward to following your career.


Jacob Firth

Jacob Firth

Jacob is completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and is currently in his second year at the University of Queensland. He wants to see rural health services align closely with those offered by our cities.

“I envisage leaders in health sciences working directly and in collaborative partnerships, applying the best cutting edge technologies to provide residents with first-class health care…. I see rural researchers pushing forward technologies that benefit those in rural and remote areas of Queensland. I want to be an active contributor to the improvement of rural health services in Queensland and encourage like-minded colleagues to take the challenge and do the same.”

Jacob is passionate about rural medicine and is looking towards his future.

“After a year at university, I have witnessed first-hand the many, different rewarding career options medicine has to offer including general practice, specialisation, and research. All these options excite me. Perhaps most appealing and challenging is to return to rural Queensland to practice as a rural generalist. I am eager to assist in the provision of excellent services in remote, rural Queensland.”

We know you will succeed in whatever you do, Jacob. Congratulations.


Samuel Romagnolo

Samuel in Kalkarindji next to monument marking the site of the handing back of Gurindji land.

Samuel is in his second year of study for a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University. He has been inspired by a recent placement in remote Northern Territory.

“I was selected to undertake my placement in the remote Aboriginal community of Kalkarindji in the central Northern Territory desert. It was a truly surreal experience, being placed in such a location, and seeing the effects that the social determinants of health have on the population was staggering. Witnessing the poor health and living conditions in the community has inspired me to one day work in such a community and attempt to close the gap – something that will drive me through my studies.”

Samuel’s career goal is to be a rural generalist… and a good one!

“I have only recently learned of the rural generalist pathway and was instantly attracted to it, the reason being is that I desire a higher level of training in a position that will best equip me to serve the community that I will eventually find myself working in. I have taken a particular interest in Indigenous health conditions since the beginning of my degree, and I wish to further this interest by integrating my knowledge into future practice… I will strive to become a personable and compassionate doctor, and aspire to one day have excellent rapport with my patients.”

Congratulations Samuel, you clearly understand what it takes to succeed in rural medicine.


Congratulations again to all five applicants and best wishes for the future. We are happy to invest in rural and remote medicine through you and we know that you will do great things.

Central Highlands Goes Green

Central Highlands Goes Green

Brightly dressed heroes hope to give headspace in Emerald the green light!

The communities of the Central Highlands have come together to campaign for a headspace centre in Emerald. A headspace centre would offer young people, who often fall through the cracks, vital mental health and wellbeing services.

To raise awareness and green (money) for this goal, community groups and individuals are hosting Green Events. These events encompass anything to help promote, advocate or support the federal application for a headspace in Emerald servicing the Central Highlands. From a morning tea to a concert, all levels of support are greatly appreciated. Events so far include a bake stall run by a local teen. The next big event is a colour run on Saturday April 6th. Flyers for upcoming events will be posted on the Central Highlands goes GREEN facebook page.

This initiative was started by the Central Highlands Suicide Prevention Group, as part of a plan to reduce suicides in the area. This group is part of a wider project for Suicide Prevention in Central Queensland. The sitting Federal MP, Ken O’Dowd, and Labor candidate Zac Beers have both shown their support for the proposed centre.

For more information or to get involved click here, or contact Fiona Hardgrave at fiona.hardgrave@cqrdgp.com.au.

Locals show support for suicide prevention

Locals show support for suicide prevention

Fourteen residents from across Banana Shire recently attended a course to become a trainer of a one day Australian Suicide prevention intervention program.

Central Queensland Rural Health Chief Executive officer Sandra Corfield said the three day course will teach participants how to intervene when somebody may be at risk of suicide and more importantly spread the skills to help others.

“Preventing suicide is everyone’s business. The great thing about this training is that the 14 local participants will deliver the one day suicide intervention program throughout next year in their local towns and communities, “Ms Corfield said.

“Delivering suicide prevention training is our way of ensuring as many people as possible can recognise and respond to suicidality.

“Our participants range from a local barber and retail staff to a school guidance officer and local social worker.

“It is great that so many locals are willing to give up their time to help look after their local community,” she said.

The three day Train the Trainer (T4T) CALM workshop is funded by the Queensland Government’s TRIAC Fund. It will provide participants with the skills, knowledge and resources to help recognise the subtle warning signs somebody may be at risk, open up a conversation in a comfortable and safe manner, help the person reconnect with their strengths and hold their hope and lastly to identify referral pathways and develop a meaningful safety plan.

CALM is an evidence-informed program that ensures that all participants understand the theories, principles and models that underpin CALM; fully grasp and be able to demonstrate their ability to explain and use the CALM model of intervention and gain confidence in their ability to competently deliver the one day program to their communities.

Central Queensland Rural Health is working with communities across the region to reduce suicide.

The training  will increase community confidence to respond to people in pain and help them to stay safe.

The participants from Moura, Biloela, Baralaba and Theodore are willing to travel across the shire to deliver this essential training.

We encourage groups or individuals interested in training in 2019 to contact Angie from Central Queensland Rural Health by email angie.horchner@cqrdgp.com.au or phone 4992 1040

Local residents can complete free online suicide prevention training by clicking here.

For help or information call Lifeline: 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, beyondblue: 1300 22 4636.