The Counselling Journey, Lifeline Gippsland
The beginning of Lifeline
Living in Sydney in 1963, Rev Alan Walker became aware of the need to develop an organised system for meeting the profound depth of human need that existed. He was seeing people struggling with depression and other mental and social issues and there was nowhere they could turn to for help.
Rev Walker had been working with a young man who was desperately lonely, in debt and considered himself a failure. The young man later committed suicide and it was his death that motivated Rev Walker to establish the Lifeline organisation. Rev Walker believed suicide prevention was possible and that with counselling the young man would have got his life back on track. Lifeline became a way for people to reach out from their own homes, just where they were.
The Lifeline Gippsland story
Four years after Lifeline was established in Sydney, Morwell bank officer Bill Watson initiated a similar service in the Gippsland region. He established a steering committee which organised volunteers willing to donate their time to training. These volunteers went on to become the first group to offer telephone counselling and so, in 1968, Lifeline Gippsland was born.
The Lifeline Gippsland counselling service started at the back of a church building, in an old house in Maryvale Crescent, Morwell. The organisation was funded through financial donations and in-kind support from community groups, church groups, service clubs and the Gippsland community.
Lifeline Gippsland has continually grown into the organisation it is today and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved and the services we now provide. These services include our 24-hour telephone counselling, suicide prevention line, and crisis line, which, among our other services, link us to about 23,000 people each year who need help. We’ve expanded to offer a range of training courses which educate and support the Gippsland community on topics like depression and counselling, and we have a retail arm to our business through our op shops and rag trading, which survive on community donations.
The Lifeline Gippsland multi-purpose building
The Lifeline Gippsland administration headquarters changed in 2006 when we moved to the corner of Church and Fleming streets, Morwell. Our multi-purpose building is well set up to provide round-the-clock telephone crisis support, but also includes a separate events centre which groups and businesses hire for meetings and conferences.
Staff Member Position David Rohde Acting CEO Andrew Cawood Crisis Services Manager Annette Davey Crisis Services Coordinator Melanie Shankland Finance Coordinator Robyn Jennings Quality Officer Brig Zaffina Administration Coordinator Fiona O’Donnell Training Officer Marisca Seinen Corporate Training Officer Alex Todorovski Acting Business Operations & Services Development Manager Kylie Hillbrick Operations Administrator Ian Norman Warehouse Coordinator…
The Lifeline Gippsland board members are volunteers make decisions which shape the services offered to depression sufferers or more vulnerable members of the Gippsland community, including our telephone crisis support service and suicide prevention support program. They also direct the Lifeline Gippsland donations program, which enables the community to donate furniture or clothes, and volunteering and training programs…
Previous copies of our annual report can be downloaded by clicking on the links below: Lifeline Gippsland 2016 Annual Report. Lifeline Gippsland 2015 Annual Report. Lifeline Gippsland 2014 Annual Report. Strategic Plan 2014 – 2017 View our Strategic Plan here