All welcome at rural gathering in Garema with special guest Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey, who is pictured with his wife Jenny, will share his story at the Garema gathering on March 5. File photo, supplied previously.
Sam Bailey, who is pictured with his wife Jenny, will share his story at the Garema gathering on March 5. File photo, supplied previously.

Community members from Garema are inviting people to come along to a free event where drought and health support will be on offer and inspiring speakers will share their experiences.

The event is on Thursday, 5 March from 9:30am at Garema Hall and everyone is welcome to attend.

Guest speaker Sam Bailey will share his story of tragedy, triumph and romance.

Sam is a C6/C7 quadriplegic who has conquered his disability to become a successful farmer, ultralight pilot, inspirational speaker, best-selling author and role model for children.

Geoff Chase, Chris Wilson, Craig Semple and Jenny Webb will also share some of their experiences.

While Sam Bailey is in the area, through the generosity and support of the Lachlan Area Suicide Prevention Network, he will be speaking to students at the Parkes and Forbes High Schools.

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) Coordinator Di Gill said there would be something for everyone at Garema including a Grease and Oil Change (health check), kids' corner with childcare and jumping castle and a free morning tea and lunch.

"We want people from the these smaller communities to come together and learn more about how they can help themselves or others with mental health issues as well as hear from some inspiring people and ask questions in a safe environment," she said.

Event organiser and local farmer Tom Norris said he was inspired to get this event off the ground after he himself attended a similar event at Kiagartha (near Condobolin) during the Millennium Drought.

Tom described that Kiagartha event as "just the best day" and a real turning point for him, but he hadn't actually planned to attend. His sister took him along.

He'd encourage others to do the same for a mate.

"The ongoing drought can have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing and it's really important that we are proactive in providing helpful information and resources to smaller communities such as Garema," he said.

Tom says the event is a combined effort between the Garema Hall committee, the Forbes Shire Council, RAMHP, the Department of Primary Industries Rural Resilience Program, the Country Women's Association, Forbes' Men's Shed, the Forbes Lions Club and the Rural Fire Service.

"We are appreciative of all the support that our sponsors provide," Tom said.

Service providers attending include RAMHP, the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS), DPI, Red Cross, Marathon Health, Relationships Australia, Catholic Care as well as health checks being facilitated by Western Sydney University and Western NSW Local Health District.

For more information or to RSVP please contact Tom Norris 0429 478 157 or Claire Nicholson 0431 878 943.