Quarter 3 Report

The batyr team had an outstanding quarter, setting ourselves up for a big end to the year. Highlights included:
• Delivering 101 programs to high school and uni students across NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT and SA
• Training 53 young people to safely and effectively share their story of mental ill health
• Sharing the batyr story around the world – At the International Association for Youth Mental Health Conference in Dublin, Ireland & the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch, New Zealand
• Welcoming our new partners: Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, APP and the Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball
• Seeing everyone come together at various events across the country to continue the conversation around mental health, and raise truly appreciated funds for batyr

Being Herd

Quarter 3 saw the Being Herd team run 8 Being Herd speaker training workshops in Brisbane, Tamworth, Sydney, UniSA (Adelaide), Western Sydney and Melbourne. In total 53 young people participated in the two day workshops, learning to safely share their story with mental ill health. The team also ran the first ever all male workshop, training 10 young men in Sydney.

“This week I had the privilege to spend a weekend hearing men, from all different walks of life, tell their stories of mental ill health as part of batyr’s all male Being Herd workshop. Because of their willingness to share and their compassion towards others’ stories, I also was able to contribute my story, tears and all, and came out of it feeling like they, and that such great organisations as batyr, not only had my back but could relate and understand where I was coming from. It was an incredibly enriching and life-affirming experience that I know I will be able to look back on as a significant moment in my journey” James, all male workshop participant, August.

On top of running the 8 workshops, 27 new speakers joined the team to share their stories at our [email protected][email protected] & [email protected] programs. That is the most speakers to join the team by a country mile. 

Facilitator Team

3 new Facilitators joined the team in Regional NSW, which is the first time we have had Casual Facilitators out in the bush! 

In the last 3 months Facilitators delivered over 100 programs in High Schools and Universities across the country.

If that wasn’t enough, the crew delivered [email protected] programs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, sending the good vibes to IPG Mediabrands, Dentons Lawyers and Macquarie Bank.

The quarter also saw us run our first ‘Spotlight on Mental Health’ program in Sydney – allowing the general public too see what a batyr program is all about thanks to sponsors Macquarie Bank.

[email protected]

In quarter three the [email protected] team worked with 53 high schools across NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT and SA, delivering 71 programs to students in years 9 to 12.

A total of 9,594 young people were reached, hearing tips on how to look after their mental health and look out for their mates, as well as hearing stories of hope from our young and relatable speakers.

“I don’t really know how to explain it but (the stories) made me feel more validated to feel! I thought it was really nice and not uncomfortable to listen. It gave me a lot of hope!”  Y9 student, Loretto Kirribilli, NSW.

Results from our post program feedback show that:

  • 82% of the students were highly engaged in the programs
  • 68% were more likely to reach out for support after the program

[email protected] expanded into new areas including the Southern Highlands in NSW, running 7 programs across 5 high schools over a ten day period. As well as running a community forum, educating parents, teacher and families on the role they can play in improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

BDCU Children’s Foundation – a local foundation supporting mental health in youth sponsored a few of these programs and had this to share after observing the [email protected] program at Frensham girls school:

“I attended your lecture as an observer for the BDCU committee at Frencham yesterday. It was just fabulous and inspiring.  The structure of the lecture was really great, your facilitator Xan was perfect, communicating through music and words how to deal with mental ill health and that dealing with the symptoms early enough can bring a great prognosis. Your two speakers were excellent. The girls really understood and from where I sat were totally engrossed.” Annie Moore, committee member of BDCU Children’s Foundation.

The team also worked with sporting organisations RUPA and Hockey NSW, delivering 3 programs to the players, emphasising the importance of prioritising their mental health, just as they would their physical health.

To end the quarter, the team repped the bright lippy in support of women’s mental health this Liptember and captured this beauty at Westminster School in SA.

[email protected]

Between programs, events and national health promotion campaigns, a total of 4621 uni students were reached across the 5 campuses at UTS, ANU, UNISA, UNE and USYD (Faculty of Health Science).

30 [email protected] programs were delivered to various faculties and student societies, educating students on the services available and encouraging them to reach out for support if they need it.

“It’s important to share real stories about mental health because they bring life to the statistics and remind us of how real mental health is. It gives us assurance that struggle is a shared human experience of common humanity” USyd Student, August.

Post program survey showed that:

  • 84% of students rated the program as highly engaging
  • 80% said they were more likely to reach out for support in future if they need it

“It was a great session. I actually felt a bit relieved seeing people opening up their feelings. It felt sincere & non-superficial” Burton & Garran Hall Student, July.

It’s results like this, that continue to drive the volunteer exec team and their managers at each campus, and it’s with this passion that the quarter saw a huge number of events held across each campus. Marking the occasions of Orientation Week, RUOK Day and a follow up event RUOK STILL, the events helped to foster positive conversations and connections between students.

Events, Fundraising & Partnerships

Quarter three saw the batyr team donning the bow ties and frocks for Gala Balls across the country and even internationally.

The White Elephant Winter Ball returned for the 4th year running with a brand new committee in charge and what a great job they did raising over $50,000. We would like to take this opportunity to send a massive thank you to Katrina Brennan and the original committee members for everything they have done in helping batyr develop such a strong footprint in Tamworth, we are forever grateful for your support.

In August, students from Canberra and Sydney come together to take part in Civic2Surf and Most of the Coast. It was truly inspiring to see over 120 student run a collective 450kms to promote positive conversations around mental health and raise funds along the way. At the midpoint of Civic2Surf a memorial walk was held in honour of the late Harriet Nixon. Harriet was an amazing young lady that did so much for batyr and Civic2Surf. Tragically Harriet’s 21 years ended prematurely in December, 2016 following a disastrous accident. At our Blue Tie Ball this year we recognised Harriet’s generosity of spirit and selfless support for our cause by naming our Unsung Hero Award the ‘Harriet Nixon Memorial Award, The Unsung Hero.’

700 people attended our 5th Annual Blue Tie Ball at Australian Technology Park, our largest crowd yet and what an AMAZING crowd they were. With Gus Worland as the MC and Layne Beachley as our guest speaker, the night was one to remember. Over $117,000 was raised  – smashing our fundraising target! Thanks to our volunteer committee that put so much time and effort into make this evening possible.

In September the first ever Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball was held to support batyr and Kely Support Group in Hong Kong. batyr Founder and Chairman Sebastian Robertson went over to MC the event and over $110,000 was raised on the evening. an incredible sum made possible by the 400+ generous crowd, sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the tireless efforts of the 2017 committee.

To wrap up the quarter the batyr team pouted about town, rocking red lippy in support of Liptember. Liptember is a national campaign dedicated to educating the community on women’s mental health, whilst raising funds towards specific women’s mental health research and support programs.

Coming Up in Q4:

The gala balls continue in Q4 with:

On the programs front:

  • We will run 8 Being Herd workshops across Orange, Dubbo, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra, and for the first time a workshop with ReachOut’s Youth Ambassadors
  • Deliver 70 [email protected] programs across 60 schools, and 12 [email protected] programs


Keep Doing You

batyr have partnered with ALT Schweppes to take the celebrity off the pedestal and celebrate everyday people in an interactive outdoor gallery. The ALT Human Gallery makes the statement that you don’t need to ‘filter’ your life – you’re great just the way you are, so keep doing you.

A powerful message for young people to hear, considering the pressures social media put on the mental wellbeing of millennials. With so much of today’s world seen through the filter of social media, people are losing touch with ‘normal’ comparing themselves to an unrealistic version of reality.

The campaign ‘Keep doing you‘ encourages millenials to embrace their individuality and quirks that make them who they are, a message batyr is proud to support.

Bringing colour to mental health this World Mental Health Day

Mental Health organisations around the country joined forces for World Mental Health Day to bring colour to mental health. Hundreds turned out to help form a giant colourful eye on Bondi Beach, to make an invisible issue and visible and show that we are all in this together.

‘Do you see what I see?’ challenges the perception of mental illness and aims to reduce stigma by showing that everyone is in this together. Demonstrated by the positive cross-sector collaboration between Australia’s key mental health organisations including OneWave, batyr, Waves of Wellness Foundation, SANE Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia, Livin’, R U OK?, Black Dog Institute and Headspace, uniting to support everyday Australians.

The event not only promotes a positive approach to tackling an issue that affects one in five Australians, it aims to shed a new light on the mental health conversation, making it easier for people to understand how to get help or support someone facing mental health challenges.

The idea was inspired by the stock black and white photo of a person sitting with their head in their hands signifying despair, and signifying mental illness. This is stigma and stigma is still the number one barrier to people seeking help.

These organisations are urging Australians to see things differently, to see the benefit of tackling this issue so as a nation we see real reductions in the rate of mental illness affecting our community. Mental health, and mental wealth need to be seen through the eyes of a family member or close friend, and through the eyes of those in our community who don’t have the support they need – not stereotypes.

This year, for World Mental Health Day, Australia is being challenged to look at mental health through a different light, in positive bright colour, not black and white.