Let Them Stay
A family of genuine refugees is under the threat of deportation back to Sri Lanka.
Neil Para, Sugaa and their family have lived life in limbo for years and only want an opportunity to make Australia home.
The Ballarat community has adopted and embraced them as its own.
In return Neil and Sugaa give back to the community tenfold.
Their girls would be an asset to Australia's future.
They do not speak the language of Sri Lanka and would be foreigners if deported.
They are genuine refugees and have tried so hard to fit into our community.
The thought of them being deported to an uncertain future and one that may be detrimental to their health and safety doesn't bare thinking about.
Judith Buchanan, Sebastopol.
Freedom of Speech
It's about time australian politicians had the guts to stand up and bring Julian Assange home to Australia.
He is not guilty, he told the truth about what happened in Iraq.
America was the wrongdoer.
We, the people of Australia will fight to the end for our freedom of speech, don't tempt us.
E. Le Mester, Sebastopol.
Mental health prize
Much needs to be done to address the crisis of mental health in this country. With almost half of all Australians affected by mental illness during their lives, the ripple effect is felt by loved ones, families and the broader community.
The symptoms of mental illness are not always visible and many people suffer in isolation. Thankfully, there are thousands of worthy Australians striving to make a difference in this field, from advocacy, education and awareness through to prevention, treatment and searching for much needed cures. The Australian Mental Health Prize acknowledges those who are doing innovative work in this area. Acknowledging those who work or volunteer in the industry is an important part of the process to destigmatise mental illness.
The Prize was established in 2016 by UNSW Sydney through its School of Psychiatry, Australia's pre-eminent psychiatric research department. It recognises Australians who have made outstanding contributions to either the promotion of mental health, or the prevention or treatment of mental illness.
Nominations are now open. Please consider those in your local community who deserve to be recognised. More information australianmentalhealthprize.org.au.
Ita Buttrose, Chair - Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group