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Broken Hill businessman dons drag after town raises over $60,000 for its Lifeline

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The Broken Hill community has raised more than $60,000 for its local Lifeline as part of a fundraising campaign to address men’s mental health.

It was a campaign that ended in a local businessman dressing up in drag, parading down the town’s main street and singing Working Class Man from a pub balcony.

After he was nominated to take part in the Men’s Mental Health Challenge last month, local businessman Steve Radford proposed a new challenge, one which he thought did not send the wrong message about men’s mental health.

He said he would undertake a challenge of the community’s nomination once they raised $5,000 for Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast — and that he would match the funds.

‘Amazing’ community response

A GoFundMe page was soon set up and reached the fundraising target within four to five days.

“The page was set for some three weeks and over that three-week period, amazingly, the support from the community and wider regions raised $50,000 for the purpose of men’s mental awareness,” Mr Radford said.

Mr Radford was presented with a number of different challenges by the community, including parading down Broken Hill’s main street in drag and singing ‘Working Class Man’ from the balcony of a local pub.

Broken Hill businessman Steve Radford dressed in drag and singing from a pub balcony.
Broken Hill businessman Steve Radford as drag queen ‘Ava Newcareer’, singing from the balcony of the Broken Hill Pub.(ABC Broken Hill: Andrew Schmidt)

He decided to take on both challenges, with the event taking place over the weekend.

Mr Radford said he hoped the event would encourage men within the community to discuss their mental health issues more often.

“When we have problems and pain, it’s a pimple. You’ve got to squeeze the pimple, you’ve got to get the puss and pain and the core out,” he said.

“And when you get the core out, it’ll heal and you move on.

Further support needed

Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast CEO, Scott Hammond, said over $60,000 was raised by the community in the end, with the money going towards a much-needed social worker for the Lifeline.

Mr Hammond said the local Lifeline really appreciated the community’s fundraising efforts, but further support from the government was needed.

“We want to sit down with government bodies and say to them, ‘we need some support out here,'” he said.

“The community’s dug in, they’ve put their hands in their pockets and we need the government now to put their hands in their pockets and support us out here.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-29/broken-hill-lifeline-fundraiser-steve-radford/12401542

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