OzHelp and Consolidated Pastoral Company Northern Territory

Targeted delivery in rural and remote communities.

In 2018 Australia was rocked by the suicide of 13-year-old Dolly Everett in Katherine. This tragedy prompted national media exposure for the insidious issues of cyberbullying, mental ill health in rural communities, and youth suicide. The spotlight on mental health for Australians living in rural and remote communities prompted a community response, and sparked action by organisations in the Northern Territory.

Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), an Australian managed Agrifood business, identified a need to support the wellbeing and mental health of their employees. OzHelp put together a program to deliver proactive training and support to the CPC workforce located across 15 cattle stations, which operate across 4.7 million hectares of Northern Australia.

During October 2018 a $10,000 grant from the Northern Territory Suicide Prevention Strategy was provided to co-fund a preventative mental health program to remote workers. This would provide a testing ground for OzHelp to examine ways to more efficiently and effectively reach remote workers with the care and supports they need. OzHelp’s screening tool, the Workplace Tune Up (WTU) collected insights during a pilot of the program. This provided valuable information about needs specific to the cattle station workers – guiding an insights-led program that could enable better reach for a full workforce in the future.

An important element was the ability to identify unique risks, barriers and protective factors that impact the wellbeing of remote workers. This included issues such as: sleep and fatigue; alcohol consumption; domestic safety; coping with stress; bullying and discrimination; and other wellbeing concerns.

The key results from this initiative indicated that 100% of participants completed the Workplace Tune-Up (WTU) online survey, and from this OzHelp has provided 99 support actions, and activated three priority follow-ups in response to identified risk factors.

Working with OzHelp to deliver the programs across all our NTWA stations has been great, the team members were flexible, easy to work with and very accommodating to deliver the program across a lot of miles. The program is hands-on, practical and the team members are supportive and really do care about the people they are delivering to – Henry Burke, CPC General Manager NTWA

This initiative was a great example of a public/private partnership model – through three-way funding OzHelp was able to demonstrate an effective use of government seed funding which lead to greater employer investment in the health and wellbeing of their workforce.