Susan Ryan from UnitingCare Queensland on Huish Drive at the site of a Suicide Memorial where they will shortly be planting a third Gumbi Gumbi tree.
Susan Ryan from UnitingCare Queensland on Huish Drive at the site of a Suicide Memorial where they will shortly be planting a third Gumbi Gumbi tree. Chris Ison ROK310817cgumbigumbi2

Mindless attack on special memorial

THEY just wanted a quiet, reflective place where people could think of the loved ones who had taken their own lives.

Instead, a Rockhampton organisation has experienced continual disappointment as heartless vandals have destroyed a special place not once, but twice.

Susan Ryan, president of the CQ Community Suicide Prevention Network, said a Gumbi Gumbi tree had been planted at the site as special recognition of suicide in the Indigenous community.

Rockhampton Regional Council donated the space on Huish Dr and the network had envisioned a reflective place, which would also reduce the shame and stigma around suicide.

But instead, the group were confronted with mindless vandalism as the first tree was ripped from the ground.

A replaced was also taken and now the site is bordered by star pickets and safety tape while they wait for a third tree to be delivered.

Susan said everyone in the network was holding their breath, hoping the it would be third time lucky with a mature, fully-grown tree.

Susan Ryan from UnitingCare Queensland on Huish Drive at the site of a Suicide Memorial where they will shortly be planting a third Gumbi Gumbi tree.
Susan Ryan from UnitingCare Queensland on Huish Drive at the site of a Suicide Memorial where they will shortly be planting a third Gumbi Gumbi tree. Chris Ison ROK310817cgumbigumbi1

"It was very devastating for all the network members,” she said.

"We had worked long and hard on thinking what we could do for a reflective place where people could go and sit.

"For our members on the network it creates a lot of sadness with a lot of people who have lived experience of losing a loved one through suicide.”

Luckily, the tree will be delivered in time for this year's Out of the Shadows Walk on Sunday.

The walk starts at 5.30am at the South Rockhampton Swimming Pool car park.

The walk and reflection is followed by a barbecue breakfast.

To register, email cqcspn@gmail.com.



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