40th Anniversary of Lifeline Bookfairs - 90 Second Statement (2013)

I am sure that all members here are aware of the incredibly important work that is done by Lifeline. Lifeline's vision is simple: an Australia free of suicide. Lifeline was founded in 1962 by the Reverend Dr Sir Alan Walker after he took a call from a distressed man who later took his own life. Determined not to let isolation and a lack of support be the cause of more deaths, he launched a 24-hour crisis support line—which now answers around 1,800 calls each day, with around 50 being from people at high risk of suicide. Lifeline's services are made possible through the efforts of around 1,000 staff and 11,000 volunteers operating from over 60 locations nationwide.

Ahead of International Volunteers Day tomorrow, Lifeline Canberra is today celebrating 40 years of its famous fundraising book fairs, which have raised millions of dollars over this time to fund Lifeline's crisis support services in the ACT. Today is a chance to thank the hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers whose dedication and hard work have made this possible. It is also a chance to thank Lifeline for the vitally important work it does in our community. Lifeline will hold an open day today at its warehouse, and, in addition to the birthday cake, a new commemorative photo wall will be unveiled, recognising individuals who have played a significant role in the book fairs over the last 40 years. Tomorrow, to mark International Volunteers Day, the Governor-General will visit Lifeline Canberra to thank volunteers for their tireless work. Happy 40th birthday, Lifeline.

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