In­spi­ra­tional road trip­pers

Stu­dents get four of the best

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMPTON

DER­WENT Val­ley stu­dents will get to hear from a unique group of Tas­ma­ni­ans to­mor­row.

All four 2017 Tas­ma­nian Aus­tralians of the Year are head­ing to town as part of a re­gional tour hosted by the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s In­sti­tute for the Study of So­cial Change.

With back­grounds in speech pathol­ogy, en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism, youth work and sui­cide pre­ven­tion, the four award re­cip­i­ents — Tas­ma­nian Aus­tralian of the Year Ros­alie Martin, Tas­ma­nian Se­nior Aus­tralian of the Year Mar­garet Stead­man, Tas­ma­nian Young Aus­tralian of the Year Mitch McPher­son and Tas­ma­nian Lo­cal Hero An­thony Edler — are talk­ing to stu­dents about the im­por­tance of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, re­spect for them­selves and oth­ers, and how to build strength at a per- sonal and com­mu­nity level.

The group will speak at New Nor­folk High School, with Glenora District School stu­dents also at­tend­ing.

Along with school vis­its, the group is tak­ing part in a free pub­lic fo­rum at the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s Stan­ley Bur­bury The­atre in Ho­bart to­mor­row at 6pm.

“The in­sti­tute took on a co­or­di­na­tion role to en­sure lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers had greater op­por­tu­ni­ties to draw in­spi­ra­tion from the award re­cip­i­ents,” In­sti­tute for the Study of So­cial Change di­rec­tor Richard Ec­cle­ston said.

Speech pathol­o­gist Ros­alie Martin, the founder of Chat­ter Mat­ters Tas­ma­nia, has vis­ited Tas­ma­nia’s Ris­don Prison to help pris­on­ers crack the code of read­ing.

Mrs Stead­man is a sus­tain­able liv­ing ad­vo­cate and for­mer his­tory tu­tor.

Mitch McPher­son, a sui­cide pre­ven­tion leader who founded SPEAK UP! Stay Chatty af­ter his brother took his own life in 2013, said he was look­ing for­ward to the road trip.

“It is good to be recog­nised and this will be a great op­por­tu­nity for the four of us to spread our im­por­tant mes­sages around the state,” he said.

An­thony Edler is the pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor of the Ris­don Vale Bike Col­lec­tive which helps dis­ad­van­taged and atrisk young peo­ple in his com­mu­nity and peo­ple in Namibia.

The re­gional tour is spon­sored by the Na­tional Aus­tralia Day Coun­cil and Aus­tralia Post.

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