AFL champion Danny Frawley passed away near Bungaree one year ago today, but his legacy in the district has not dimmed.
The former Saints star and Richmond coach was well-known for his charity after his retirement - he was a regular fixture at the Ballarat Cycle Classic since its inception, and was a force for good in encouraging people, particularly men, to take care of their mental health.
With the revelations he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he died, there is also hope more conversations about the injury in sports will be sparked, which in turn will help even more people.
His brother-in-law, Gavin James, was one of the Cycle Classic's founders - he said Danny was always ready to jump in for the cause.
"He was involved with the cycling community in Melbourne and had a lot of connections, and we wanted to make sure we let the Melbourne contingent know our event was on," he explained.
"He accepted that role, and he was instrumental in coming up and MCing many of our functions."
This year, the event held a special night to honour his contributions, before the inaugural SPUD100, a 100-mile, or 160-kilometre, ride through the district.
That special event helped hit the $300,000 donation target for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, and Mr James said it would definitely continue next year.
"We'll continue to honour Danny and his daughters, and my sister, of course, each year with a special evening celebrating his contribution to the FECRI, and we'll look to continue to raise funds to assist George (Kannourakis, FECRI's honourary director) and his team to continue their good work," he said.
"(Danny) understood, as we understood, by promoting and getting involved in the Ballarat charity, that most importantly every dollar we earned, they got it."
It's a difficult time for many in the community who knew him, he added.
"We miss him terribly - we miss his humour, his daughters sent me a text today to his family with some of his one liners from when he was coaching the girls and they won the grand final at Haileybury," Mr James said.
"(His family) wanted to have him remembered as somebody who did all he did for his family, and the game, and the charities he supported, and the support he gave people - but also understanding that his demise, his loss of life was attributable to this brain injury, it's a tragedy that we now know his brain was suffering from CTE.
"Perhaps going forward there'll be better ways to understand and look after people with concussion, and there was a hope this was a way to somehow help others with this injury."
Beyondblue's lead clinical adviser Dr Grant Blashki also paid tribute.
"Danny Frawley was such an extraordinary man who has left a wonderful legacy and spread the message that it's important to reach out for support early if you're having a hard time," he said.
"He understood that looking out for those around us and having important honest conversations can change someone's life.
"As he put it, manning up in the past was to suffer in silence whereas manning up now is to put your hand up when you need help."
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis support, phone Lifeline 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
Help is also available, but not limited, via the following organisations. The key message is you are not alone.
- Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
- Mensline: 1300 789 978 or mensline.org.au
- Survivors of Suicide: 0449 913 535
- Relationships Australia: 1800 050 321
- headspace Ballarat (for 12-25s and parent support): 5304 4777
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Soldier On: 1300 620 380
- Ballarat Community Health: 5338 4500
- QLife: 1800 184 527 (Support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people)
- Family violence: 1800 RESPECT
- Veterans support: Open Arms on 1800 011 046 or openarms.gov.au
- Ballarat Mental Health Services: 5320 4100 or after hours on 1300 247 647
- For Aboriginal crisis support: Yarning SafeNStrong, 1800 959 563 (noon to 10pm)
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.