Lifeline of hope for Victorian communities

21 February 2024 Lifeline 13 11 14

The Parliament House briefing hosted by Speaker Maree Edwards included a panel session with Lifeline volunteers.
The Parliament House briefing hosted by Speaker Maree Edwards included a panel session with Lifeline volunteers.

Eighty Lifeline volunteers in the Loddon Mallee took an estimated 18,000 calls for help in 2023.

The work of the call centre staff at Bendigo and Mildura, as well as those across the rest of Victoria has been recognised at Parliament House.

‘We are very fortunate to be able to say here in Victoria we have some amazing people who work within our Lifeline centres,’ Legislative Assembly Speaker Maree Edwards said.


‘Through integrity, authenticity, generosity, community, empathy and passion Lifelines make a real difference.'

‘It is a service that we should never ever take for granted.’

Maree Edwards, Speaker

Lifeline centre staff, board members, volunteers and supporters from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Wodonga and Gippsland joined Members of Parliament at the event.


The nation-wide 13 11 14 hotline provides support for people experiencing a range of crisis and thoughts of suicide.

‘What many of you may not be aware of is the other vital services we deliver to provide support and connection to empower people and communities in our region to change their lives,’ Lifeline Loddon Mallee executive officer Lisa Renato said.


‘Local centres are already offering or working towards offering face-to-face counselling services, training in domestic violence awareness, suicide intervention skills, mental health first aid, skills-for-life and live-for-life programs, and many more.

‘Some provide youth after-hours supports, critical incident response personnel and teams when an incident occurs, and in-person crisis support following disasters.'

‘Lifeline’s vision is for a suicide free Australia.’

Lisa Renato, Lifeline Loddon Mallee

Nine Australians die by suicide every day. Seven are men, two are women.

‘One of the most significant impacts of having local call centres in local communities is the training our volunteers receive and then take back out into the community,’ Ms Renato said.

‘Skills and knowledge that you cannot get anywhere else.’

It’s estimated the ripple effects of the volunteer training benefits a further 1200 members of the local communities.


Shadow Mental Health Minister Emma Kealy became emotional as she reflected on her own experience with postnatal anxiety, after hearing from a lived experience advocate during a question-and-answer panel session with volunteers.

‘You having the strength to tell the story is forming a place for people who haven’t the strength to be able to do it themselves,’ she said.

‘Thank you so much for being an advocate. Thank you so much for still supporting Lifeline and making sure that women who are going through the same situation know they’ve got someone to go to.’

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Mental Health Minister Ingrid Stitt also praised the efforts of Lifeline during significant emergency situations.

‘I do want to acknowledge and thank Lifeline for the work that they’ve done through the Covid pandemic and also through the recent floods and fire emergencies, and of course we’ve had some pretty dramatic storm activity in the last couple of weeks,’ she said.

‘I know Lifeline have been a vital support for people right across the state, so thank you.’

  • If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline 13 11 14.