A big trip – conveying a simple message.
The R U OK? Conversation Convoy for 2023 has wrapped up a 10,000km journey around the country, starting numerous, potentially lifesaving conversations along the way.
30 June, 2023
It’s the continuation of the work started by Gavin Larkin back in 2009 after he tragically lost his father to suicide
Another R U OK? Conversation Convoy has wrapped up successfully after a nearly 10,000 kilometre epic journey around the country spreading a simple but enormously important message.
This year’s Conversation Convoy travelled all over New south Wales, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, taking in remote townships and regional centres, engaging with locals and starting conversations that could well save lives.
It’s the continuation of the work started by Gavin Larkin back in 2009 after he tragically lost his father to suicide. His aim was to spare other families the same grief his own family had experienced, and though he was himself taken by lymphoma only two years later, that work continues in the suicide prevention organisation that is R U OK?.
Based around the simple principle of connecting with people by starting a conversation, R U OK? has gown into a national organisation that has touched countless lives. Through initiatives like the Conversation Convoy and R U OK? Day, which is held on the second Thursday of each September, it has encouraged people to come together and talk about their own experiences and encourage others to do the same.
R U OK? also provides conversation tips and crisis support as well as helping people to recognise the signs that a friend, family members or work colleagues might be struggling and be in need of support.
“Regular, genuine conversations about how we’re really going, have the power to change lives, and help the people in our world feel more supported when they’re facing life’s challenges,” says Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO.
“By taking the R U OK? Conversation Convoy around Australia, we work to empower people with the confidence to have a meaningful conversation if they spot the signs someone close to them might be struggling with life.”
It was back in 2017 when the Audi Foundation first partnered with R U OK? and the Conversation Convoy. Four Audi Q7s in the now distinctive yellow livery headed out on the road on what would be a 14,000km trip that took in more than 20 communities in regional and often remote parts of the country asking the simple question – ‘Are you okay?’.
'Regular, genuine conversations about how we’re really going, have the power to change lives'
Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO
That success and indeed the message has only grown and been amplified over the intervening years
Each one of the Q7s that year represented one of the four steps in the process, – Ask R U OK?, Listen, Encourage action and Check in – and the response at every place the convoy visited was resoundingly positive.
That success and indeed the message has only grown and been amplified over the intervening years. This year’s Conversation Convoy, which wrapped up on the New south Wales Central Coast last week, again connected with individuals and communities all over the country – offering a ‘cuppa and breakfast’ and the opportunity to talk.
“It’s important to give people the opportunity to come to us. Some people prefer that face-to-face conversation, or they want to know about services or organisations like us.”
To that end, the mammoth road trip around the country was again the perfect way of connecting with people in places that are often overlooked because they are away from major centres. And the very presence of the convoy with the distinctive yellow Audis rolling into town, certainly had the desired effect of bringing people together to connect and ask that crucial question.
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