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Albury’s annual Winter Solstice event returning in 2022 with special guest speaker

The Winter Solstice takes place annually on the Tuesday 21st June, the shortest day and longest night of winter. Border resident Annette Baker and her family have turned this day into a very important event, a night for Survivors of Suicide & Friends to come together in commemoration of those who have died by suicide. To reflect, and to cherish the people we love in our lives. 

Annette Baker with her husband Stuart, have been holding the event since 2013 after launching the Survivors of Suicide and Friends organisation in response to the death of their daughter, Mary, who took her own life at the age of 15 in 2011.

The event has grown substantially in size since its inception with prolific guest speakers including Tracey Spicer, Kerry O’Brian, Linda Burney and Shane Fitzsimmons all lending their voices to such an important issue.

This year the guest speaker joining the border all the way from the United States is Zak Williams. A passionate global mental health advocate, entrepreneur, father, professional speaker, and son of the late actor and comedian Robin Williams.

Zak is a trustee of United for Global Mental Health, and board member of the non-profit mental health organisation Bring Change 2 Mind. Zak is also an advisor for Inseparable, a US-based organisation focused on creating pragmatic mental health policy, and is CEO and founder of the anxiety relief company PYM.

The work and advocacy for mental health doesn’t stop at the annual event. Solstice, a documentary written, directed and produced by Albury filmmaker Helen Newman, was approached by local Annette Baker about documenting the town’s annual Winter Solstice event. The documentary was created to encourage shame-free discussion about suicide and mental health, it will have its television premiere this month before being made available as a teaching aid in Australia and overseas.

Annette spoke to Grace on Mornings, have a listen and get to QEII Square Tuesday 21st June or stream online via the Winter Solstice Website from 5pm.

If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline on 13 11 14

Griefline on 1300 845 745


Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800


Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636


Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467


Headspace on 1800 650 890


ReachOut at au.reachout.com


MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978


Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774


Head to Health at headtohealth.gov.au